Microsoft UK employee and his son among the victims of the tragedy.
28 October 2015
The five Britons who lost their lives in the whale-watching accident in Tofino, Canada, have been named.
The British Columbia Coroners Service have identified the victims as Microsoft UK manager David Thomas, 50, and his son Stephen, 18, from Swindon, Jack Slater, 76, a British national living in Toronto, 63-year-old Nigel Francis Hooker from Southampton and British Katy Taylor, 29, from Whistler in British Columbia.
David Thomas was on holiday with his family, but his wife Julie managed to survive and is currently in hospital being treated for minor injuries.
26 October 2015
The 65ft craft called Leviathan II operated by Jamie’s Whaling Station & Adventure Centres was carrying 27 passengers when it is thought it hit rocks near Tofino, on Vancouver Island, a popular destination for whale-watching.
21 people were rescued from the sinking vessel, five died, all British it’s just been confirmed. and one is still missing, confirmed The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC).
The coastguard received a mayday call on Sunday afternoon. A military plane and helicopter and boats from the Ahousaht First Nation area were immediately sent to the rescue and brought the survivors ashore. The surviving passengers were then taken to Tofino General Hospital.
Councillor Tom Campbell spoke to the Associated Press and said of those brought to safety: “Their looks tell the whole story. You can’t describe looks on people that are lost. They look totally lost – shocked and lost.”
British foreign secretary Philip Hammond: “It is with deep sadness that I can confirm five British nationals have lost their lives when the whale watching boat they were on sank off western Canada on Sunday.”
“My thoughts are with the family and friends of all those affected by this terrible accident. Consular staff in British Columbia are supporting the family members of those who have died and we will remain in close contact with Canadian authorities as further information becomes available.”
Jamie Bray, the owner of Jamie’s Whaling Station & Adventure Centres posted a statement on the company’s website, saying:
“It has been a tragic day. Our entire team is heartbroken over this incident and our hearts go out to the families, friends and loved ones of everyone involved.
We are doing everything we can to assist our passengers and staff through this difficult time.
We are cooperating with investigators to determine exactly what happened.
In the meantime, we want to extend our most sincere thank you to the first responders, rescue personnel, and everyone from Tofino and the local First Nations communities who assisted with the response efforts.
We will provide further updates when information becomes available.”