Whale-watching ship sinks; five dead

The Leviathan II was about 12km off Tofino, a resort town on the western edge of Vancouver Island, when a distress call was received saying the ship was sinking.
The Leviathan II was about 12km off Tofino, a resort town on the western edge of Vancouver Island, when a distress call was received saying the ship was sinking.PHOTO: ALBERT TITIAN/FACEBOOK

VANCOUVER • Five people have been confirmed dead and one missing after a whale-watching vessel carrying 27 sank off Canada's Pacific coast near Vancouver Island.

A total of 21 people were rescued, Lieutenant-Commander Desmond James of the Coast Guard's rescue centre said on Sunday, adding that the search had since been called off.

Many of the 18 victims taken to hospital needed warming after being plucked from the ocean, according to CBC news.

The boat, the Leviathan II, was about 12km off Tofino, a resort town on the western edge of Vancouver Island, when a distress call was received saying that the whale-watching ship was sinking.

The 20m-long cruise vessel was reportedly out on one of its last tours of the season, which ends on Oct 31.

Tofino is a popular surfing and whale-watching town near the Clayoquot Sound Unesco Biosphere Reserve.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 27, 2015, with the headline 'Whale-watching ship sinks; five dead'. Print Edition | Subscribe