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Vessel Grounded

/ 97.3 The Eagle
              The Transportation Safety Board is blaming insufficient passage planning and an inadequate lookout for the grounding of a tour boat off Vancouver Island in October 2016. An investigation report says two of the 26 passengers suffered minor injuries when the Stellar Sea ran aground at low speed during a bear-watching tour along the shoreline east of Tofino. The board says no dedicated lookout was posted, the master was alone in the wheelhouse performing multiple tasks that interfered with his ability to focus on the course ahead — and that available safety zone alarms were not enabled. The report also notes that the Coast Guard was not notified until four and a-half later after all passengers had been evacuated but says the company that owns the vessel has updated its emergency procedures manual to emphasize the need to alert search and rescue resources in a timely manner. The vessel belongs to Jamie’s Whaling Station — which also owned a whale-watching boat that was hit by a rogue wave north of Tofino in October 2015 and capsized, killing six passengers.

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