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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    B.C., Canada Ferry Sinks - 96 of 102 passengers rescued so far


    Ferry sinks off B.C. coast

    Canadian Press
    Published: Wednesday, March 22, 2006

    VANCOUVER -- Rescuers plucked dozens of people from lifeboats off B.C.'s Queen Charlotte Islands early Wednesday after a large ferry sunk in choppy seas.

    At least 96 of the 102 people aboard were rescued, said Capt. Leah Byrne of the Search and Rescue Centre in Victoria.

    She said a search was continuing.

    Byrne did not say why the Queen of the North went down. The ship was en route to Port Hardy from Prince Rupert, a trip of about 450 kilometres. The 125-metre-long vessel is reported to be completely submerged about 135 kilometres from Prince Rupert.

    "The joint rescue co-ordination centre dispatched a large number of assets to the scene, including a cormorant helicopter and buffalo aircraft," she said.

    Unconfirmed reports said fishing trawlers also responded to the initial call and helped in the rescue. Seas were reported to be choppy and winds were blowing at about 75 kilometres per hour.

    "From what we hear, it took about an hour for the ship to sink so most of the people did manage to get onto lifeboats," she said.

    Survivors were taken to a community centre in Hartley Bay.

    Nicole Robinson, a receptionist at the nursing station in Hartley Bay said some people were hurt, but not seriously.

    "We've just had a few patients come and go, minor injuries, the community all got together with blankets, everybody's pretty cold but they're all down at a community hall," Robinson said.

    According to the B.C. Ferries website, the ship was built in Germany in 1969 and refitted in 2001. It can hold up to 700 people and 115 cars.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    The ferry ran aground at around 1:40 am local time. It slowly filled with water which gave rescuers enough time to get people off the ferry before it went completely under.

    There are good indications that all the people got off the ferry safely - but there is still a counting discrepancy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    All passengers have been located an reported to be safe.

    The is no word as to why the ship ran aground.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004

    The quick response from about 200 villagers in the fishing village of Hartley Bay, B.C., is being credited with assisting the amazing rescue of the passengers and crew aboard the ferry that sank off the Queen Charlotte Islands early yesterday.

    Most of the villagers were in bed at 1 a.m., but someone constantly monitors a marine radio for reports of missing boats in the area. When the word came that the Queen of the North was in trouble, residents, some dressed only in their shirtsleeves, charged into their boats and pushed off into the inky storm waters.

    As it would turn out, rescuers had less than an hour before the ferry went down.

    About eight fishing boats, five speedboats and a couple of larger fishing vessels already at sea became part of the rescue effort before the Canadian Coast Guard could get its vessel, the Sir Wilfrid Laurier, to the site.

    The rescue mission was conducted with total precision and teamwork, even involving local children, who were brought sleepy-eyed to the dock to help offer comfort and help.

    The village's first response team had just completed a course to upgrade their skills in the last week or so, said resident Claire Hill. And, the ferry was not as full as it was last week.

    The big concern now for the people of Hartley Bay is the diesel and gasoline spill created by the ferry's sinking.

    Capt. Trafford Taylor of BC Ferries said reports indicate the ferry was carrying more than 220,000 litres of diesel fuel and 23,000 litres of lube oil

    Wow this rescue was amazing, thanks to the villagers of this town, many, many lives where saved, they should all be "seen as the heros that they are".

    This could have been a terrible tragedy with a huge loss of life if it was not for the "efforts" of the entire town, pulling together to save lives.

    I would like to go to the town on the other side of my country and do something in their honor.