Ro-Pax responds to deadly plane crash in BC waters

Northern Sea Wolf
Northern Sea Wolf
Image: BC Ferries – Northern Sea Wolf
Image: BC Ferries – Northern Sea Wolf

A Ro-Pax operated by Canada's BC Ferries temporarily diverted from its regular scheduled service to render assistance to victims and survivors of a downed aircraft in the waters of British Columbia, on Friday, July 26.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) received an alert at around 11:00 local time saying that a float plane that was transporting tourists to Calvert Island had crashed approximately 100 kilometres north of BC's Port Hardy. The pilot and three passengers were killed in the crash while the remaining five occupants suffered varying degrees of injury.

The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) then issued a request for nearby vessels to provide assistance. BC Ferries' Northern Sea Wolf, which happened to have a team of doctors on board and whose planned route would have taken it to within close proximity of the crash site, changed course to come to the aid of the aircraft's occupants.

The Ro-Pax and a CCG helicopter were the first to reach the scene of the incident by early afternoon on Friday, with two CCG vessels arriving shortly afterward.

The fatalities and survivors were then brought aboard Northern Sea Wolf. Two of the survivors were reportedly in critical condition and had to be airlifted to hospital in Vancouver.

The remaining three survivors, who have been described as being in serious but stable condition, were brought to nearby Addenbroke Island for treatment.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has launched an investigation into the crash, which has mainly been attributed to bad weather in the area.

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