Rescuers in Tofino, B.C. capsizing tragedy honoured for bravery

Ten people who risked their lives to save others after a whale-watching ship capsized off the coast of B.C. last fall are being honoured as heroes.

See Full Article

The group was awarded the Governor’s Gold Award by the B.C. and Yukon Lifesaving Society on Saturday at a ceremony in Vancouver.

Four months ago, the ship Leviathan II capsized after being struck by a powerful wave approximately 15 kilometres from Tofino, located on Vancouver Island’s west coast. Twenty-seven people on board were thrown into the frigid waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Five British nationals and an Australian died, but the death toll could have been higher, if not for crewmembers and nearby fishermen who risked their lives to save others.

In the midst of the crashing waves and chaos, crewmembers were able to deploy a life raft and pull several people from danger. They were also able to shoot a flare into the sky, which alerted a nearby fisherman.

Leviathan II crewmember Etienne Herold was among the honorees on Saturday. In an interview with CTV Vancouver on Saturday, Herold recalled the moments after the capsizing.

“People crying, people in shock,” Herold said. “People don’t know what’s happening around them … you just want to collect them and help them.”

Fisherman Carl Martin was also honoured Saturday for racing to the scene and transporting survivors to safety.

“If anyone was around there that day, they probably would have helped too and everybody did respond,” Martin said. “We were probably just the closest ones.”

In all, 21 people survived the ship disaster.

But it was the tragic loss of five people that still haunts the honorees, including crewmember Trinity Jezierski.

“We knew that people didn’t make it and that’s the hard truth of it and that’s the hardest part,” Jezierski said.

The transportation safety board is still investigating exactly what caused the boat to flip. However, the board has already confirmed that stability was a likely factor. Most of the passengers were on the left side of the top deck of the vessel when a wave hit the right side of the ship.

With a report by CTV Vancouver’s Scott Roberts



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Xi Jinping to meet with Trump in Mar-a-Lago in early April

    World News CTV News
    BEIJING -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump will meet for the first time on April 6-7 at the latter's Florida resort, China's foreign ministry announced Thursday. The future relationship between the world's No. Source
  • Conservative drop-off deadline approaches — but does anyone want out?

    Canada News CBC News
    If any of the 14 candidates running for the Conservative leadership are thinking of dropping out and keeping their name off the ballot, they will soon need to make up their minds. But with a midnight deadline looming on Friday, it doesn't seem that anyone is throwing in the towel just yet. Source
  • 'Very depressing': CIBC staff losing jobs to workers in India, expected to help with training

    Canada News CBC News
    CIBC is eliminating up to 130 jobs in its Toronto finance department and outsourcing the work to India. As part of the transition, staff losing their positions must train other local CIBC employees. Those employees then train the workers in India who will be taking over the jobs. Source
  • 'They are scared': CP workers say rookie engineers ill-prepared for dangerous job

    Canada News CBC News
    High in the mountains of southeastern B.C., the conductor of a 25,000-tonne Canadian Pacific Railway freight train pulling 2.5 kilometres of cars loaded with potash got a bad feeling. Headed west to Revelstoke, the train had just cleared a tunnel and was starting to build momentum downhill when he turned to the engineer, the man operating the massive vehicle, and said: "You know we're tippin' over here?" Source
  • U.S. internet service providers get green light to sell user data — but what about Canada?

    Canada News CBC News
    Privacy protections designed to prevent U.S. internet service providers from sharing or selling subscribers' personal information with third parties — without permission — were dismantled by U.S. Congress on Tuesday. It means that information about the apps American internet subscribers use, the websites they visit, and the things they purchase online — among other things — can potentially be tracked, shared, and monetized by third parties, unless those users opt out. Source
  • Federal Court orders public safety minister to make decision in immigration case

    Canada News CBC News
    In a withering ruling, the Federal Court has ordered Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to make up his mind on a politically sensitive immigration case. The decision from Chief Justice Paul Crampton also makes it clear the minister is obliged to make decisions in a reasonable time frame, no matter how busy he is. Source
  • How will we know when police have earned their way back to Toronto Pride?: Robyn Urback

    Canada News CBC News
    If we accept that uniformed police officers should be banned from Pride parades in Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa because of their history of persecution of racialized, gay and other minority communities, as some local Black Lives Matter (BLM) groups and their supporters contend, then a number of other groups should likewise be prohibited from joining the festivities. Source
  • 'Sometimes, I blame myself': Marites Flor on surviving hostage-taking that killed boyfriend Robert Hall

    World News CBC News
    CBC recently travelled to the Philippines to report on a number of stories and issues confronting the Pacific nation. This is the first in that series. In a rare interview with CBC, the Filipino girlfriend of one of two Canadians beheaded by an Islamic militant group in 2016 said that during their nine months in captivity, she was the translator, negotiator and keeper of a dark secret. Source
  • Three killed, four injured after collision near Caledonia, Ont.

    Canada News CTV News
    CALEDONIA, Ont. - Three people are dead and four others are in hospital following a crash on Wednesday night on a rural road near Caledonia, Ont. Ontario Provincial Police said a passenger van carrying seven people and a car collided shortly after 9 p.m. Source
  • Former Montreal mayor to be sentenced on corruption conviction

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL - Former Montreal mayor Michael Applebaum will be sentenced this afternoon following his conviction on corruption-related charges. The charges stemmed from two separate deals between 2007 and 2010 when Applebaum was mayor of Montreal's largest borough. Source