A whale-watching accident on Sunday left five dead and one missing when a boat carrying 24 passengers and three crew members capsized for unknown reasons near Vargas Island, about eight nautical miles west of Tofino, a town on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, according to the AP. The weather was reportedly calm and clear. The cause of the accident has not yet been released.
The 65-foot-long boat made a mayday call before sinking. Local boaters and the Coast Guard were able to rescue 21 people. The British foreign secretary said in a statement that the five deceased were British nationals.
The boat belonged to Jamie’s Whaling Station, a local whale-watching company. The company had a fatal accident in 1998 after a smaller whale-watching vessel overturned, killing two people.
On the company website, owner Jamie Bray said he is cooperating with investigators to determine what caused the accident. “It has been a tragic day,” Bray wrote. “We will provide further updates when information becomes available.”