The sinking of a small workboat near Halifax in 2019 that claimed one life was caused by hull alterations that jeopardized the vessel’s stability, according to an independent study.
According to a report released today by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, three passengers were aboard the 12-metre Captain Jim when it began taking on water as it entered Eastern Passage, N.S., on Jan. 29, 2019.
The water that flooded the boat’s hull and deck came through an open “freeing port,” which is an entrance covered by a hinged plate that is designed to let water from the deck to run overboard, according to the inquiry report.
The report says the vessel’s owner had installed several freeing ports, rendering the ship vulnerable to flooding.
One crew member and a passenger managed to escape the sinking boat by jumping into a life raft around 2 a.m.
Divers later recovered the body of the second crew member from the boat’s submerged wheelhouse.
The board concluded that the modifications had not been properly assessed, and the company that owned the boat did not ensure its operators and crews were familiar with stability principles or held the necessary certification.
According to the paper, “if vessel alterations are not sufficiently reviewed for their safety implications, there is a possibility that those modifications would unwittingly jeopardize a vessel’s stability.”
“As this incident indicates, if a vessel operator’s safety management systems are lacking essential parts and there is no necessity for a formal audited safety management system, there is a danger that boats may be handled in a way that jeopardizes the safety of everyone on board.”
Source_ The Canadian Press