TOFINO, B.C. – A vessel belonging to a whale-watching company is no longer stranded on rocks off Vancouver Island.
A spokesman with Jamie’s Whaling Station in Tofino, B.C., says the Stellar Sea has been pulled free from where it grounded late Saturday afternoon.
Ryan Teremy says the 12-metre, glass canopy-covered vessel is now being brought in to dry dock for repairs.
He also says it’s business as usual at the company, with all whale-watching and bear-watching tours proceeding on schedule.
None of the 26 passengers and two crew members was hurt when the 40-passenger Stellar Sea ran aground at low speed during a bear-watching tour along the rugged shoreline east of Tofino.
The grounding comes nearly a year after the Leviathan II, another boat owned by Jamie’s Whaling Station, was hit by a rogue wave north of Tofino, throwing 27 people into the water, killing six.
Teremy says it has been a tough few days for the company, but he says shoreline tours are challenging for all operators.
“The ironic thing about groundings is that they are actually more common than people think. There has already been four or five with other companies this season, but because of what happened with us last year, we get more attention,” he says.
The Transportation Safety Board investigation into the capsizing of the Leviathan II is continuing.
Two German brothers who were on the 20-metre vessel when it flipped on Oct. 25, 2015, have proposed a class-action lawsuit, accusing Jamie’s Whaling Station of negligence for allowing the boat to go out in treacherous ocean conditions.
The company’s owner, Jamie Bray, filed court documents in response saying the incident was an “act of God” that could not have been reasonably predicted or prevented.