The B.C. Coroners Service has confirmed the identities of the five British nationals who died when a whale-watching boat sank Sunday off the coast of Tofino, B.C.
Two of the deceased were residing in Canada. Katie Taylor, 29, was living in Whistler, B.C. while Jack Slater, 76, was from Toronto.
Tributes for the five British nationals have been pouring in.
Michele Slater Brown from Milton, Ont., posted a touching note on Facebook about her father, Jack, who she described as “larger than life.”
“Our hearts are broken today, our father was one of the people who lost their lives on the whale watching tragedy in Tofino,” the message read.
“Our Dad was larger than life, a charmer, handsome, entrepreneur, engineer in the Navy, he was 76 years old, he was our Dad, our lovely Dad, I will miss him forever but I’m grateful for all the times I spent with him, I love you dad.”
David Thomas, 50, and his 18-year-old son Stephen, who suffered from Down’s Syndrome, were from Swindon while while Nigel Hooker, 63, was visiting from Southampton.
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The Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group released a statement Tuesday saying they are “deeply saddened” by the deaths of the two local men.
“Stephen was a very talented young man and a gifted photographer. His love of photography started when he was 8 years old. We were all delighted when Stephen’s beautiful image ‘Moraine Lake’ won the national ‘My Perspective’ photographic competition last year,” the statement by Carol Boys, the CEO of the Down’s Syndrome Association read.
Stephen kept a blog at stephensview老域名购买 which featured his wildlife and landscape photography. He wrote about two awards he won including the My Perspective Photography Competition put on by the local Down’s Syndrome Association.
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Robert Buckland, the member of parliament for Swindon where the two victims lived, wrote on 老域名怎么购买 that it was “truly dreadful news from Canada.”
@swindonadver truly dreadful news from Canada. I have been in touch with the FCO to obtain more information.
— Robert Buckland MP (@RobertBuckland) October 27, 2015
Paul Thomas, 22, said his mother Julie was also on the boat along with his father and brother, but survived. She’s currently recovering in hospital with minor injuries according to the Swindon Advertiser. Paul is reportedly flying to Vancouver Tuesday afternoon.
The search will resume Tuesday for the person still missing since the accident, believed to be an Australian man. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed it’s “providing consular assistance” to an Australian family following the incident.
The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that the man is a 27-year-old tourist from Sydney. The missing man’s girlfriend’s father was among the dead, the Australian Associated Press reported.
The Transportation Safety Board has launched an investigation into the incident. Investigators will conduct interviews with crew members and passengers as well as review the weather, wreckage and the maintenance history of the Leviathan II to determine why it capsized.
The ship had been inspected annually since 1998 and was certified to carry 46 passengers. The vessel had 27 people on board when it capsized near Tofino around 4 p.m. PST Sunday.
Fishermen Ken Lucas and Clarence Smith were among the first to come to the aid of passengers when they saw a single flare coming from the Leviathan II.
“Within minutes there were half a dozen boats, including ourselves,” said Lucas.
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