Incident highlights importance of marine radio communications

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Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, John Drake, who shares the following news via The National Post:

AHOUSAHT — Nobody saw the wave coming.

According to stories told by survivors on board the Leviathan II it broadsided the vessel, perhaps the biggest tourist boat in Tofino, as it was heading back from a day of visiting Hot Springs Cove.

The boat had turned its side to the waves rolling in across the open ocean to watch seals on Plover Reef.

The 27 people on board were not aware of the disaster about to unfold when a large roller wave rose up and knocked the boat over on its side, rolling it again and again.

As the ship tossed and began to sink, the passengers, dressed in street clothes, were cast about like rag dolls. Many were thrown into the water. Heads hit bulkheads and glass windows. Some were trapped inside, struggling to get free.

The ship sank at the stern, staying afloat only because air had caught in the bow.

[…]Some people were covered in diesel, making it harder to grab them and pull them onto a boat, said carver Joe Martin, whose relatives were out halibut fishing when they heard of the disaster over marine radio.

[…]Living in a remote community on the West Coast comes with its advantages, such as the beauty and wildness of the landscape. But it also has its privations.

Read the full story, along with video coverage, at The National Post website…

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