The Caledonian capsized off the western coast of Vancouver Island in September 2015.

Stability issues and lack of PFDs led to Caledonian capsizing: transportation board

Federal report released into 2015 sinking that killed three people

A lack of stability is the likely cause of the deadly Caledonian sinking off the coast of Vancouver Island last fall, a federal report revealed Wednesday.

The large fishing vessel had capsized 55 kilometres west of Estevan point, which is located north of Tofino, on the afternoon of Sept. 5, 2015 with a crew of four.

Engineer Keith Standing, 48, and deckhand Doug White, 41, of Port Alberni, and 55-year-old skipper Wesley Hegglund of Duncan all died in the capsizing.

Only one unidentified crew member survived – likely, according to the report, because he was the only one wearing a personal flotation device.

According to Transportation Safety Board chair Kathy Fox, while PFDs are only mandatory on fishing vessels when crew feel there is a risk, they make fishing much safer.

“Here in B.C., roughly 70 per cent of all fishing fatalities in the past decade came while not wearing a PFD,” said Fox. “All fisherman need to wear a PFD – it’s that simple.”

The report recommended that wearing PFDs be made mandatory for crews at all times when on the deck of a fishing vessel and that both WorkSafeBC and Transport Canada ensure compliance.

The 14-month investigation revealed that the Caledonian was 50 tons heavier, plus fuel, supplies and crew, when it capsized than when it last had its stability assessed in 1976.

“The crew had not realized that their vessel had grown heavier over time or that their operating practices were putting themselves or their vessel at risk,” said investigator-in-charge Glenn Budden.

The 50 tons translated to a 20-per-cent increase in the weight, Fox said, and caused it to sit nearly half a metre lower in the water.

The transportation board recommended that Transport Canada ensure that all small and large fishing vessels have up-to-date stability information that is easily accessible to the crew.

 


 

@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on a rare show near Campbell River

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a local tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Strathcona Regional District reports on progress towards carbon neutrality

Director travel and natural gas at Strathcona Gardens largest contributors to emissions

North Island MP calls for feds to implement automatic approval of disability benefits

MP Rachel Blaney has asked for automatic approvals to address the ‘extreme backlog’ of Veterans’ disability benefit applications

Recycling depots in Campbell River, Courtenay to close

The unstaffed recyling depot at Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex is set to close July 1

Strathcona Regional District reopens electoral area outdoor park facilities

Basketball, tennis courts, skateparks in three EAs open

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Mirror business directory and map

If you’d like to be added to the list, shoot us an email

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch on central Vancouver Island yard

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by Nanaimo RCMP after being found by city crew

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

Most Read