Wainwright Marine Services Ltd. tugboats. A company tugboat went missing in the Garner Canal area south and east of Kitimat. (Wainwright Marine Services Ltd./Facebook)

Wainwright Marine Services Ltd. tugboats. A company tugboat went missing in the Garner Canal area south and east of Kitimat. (Wainwright Marine Services Ltd./Facebook)

UPDATE: Two confirmed dead in B.C. tugboat capsizing

Third person rescued from shore and brought to hospital

Two men are dead and another was rescued from a capsized tugboat off B.C.’s northwest coast in the early morning hours of Feb. 11.

BC Coroners service confirmed they are investigating two deaths related to the incident near Kitimat.

A tugboat owned by Wainwright Marine Services in Prince Rupert was towing a barge in the Gardner Canal 35 nautical miles south of Kitimat where it capsized and the emergency beacon activated. Conditions at the time were reported as very windy.

An RCMP release states at 12:40 a.m. the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) tasked an RCMP West Coast Marine vessel to attend the scene, where officers found the first deceased man.

The Canadian Coast Guard also assisted in the search and rescue operation, and found the second dead man.

The JRCC dispatched a Buffalo aircraft and a Cormorant helicopter from Canadian Forces Base Comox, but bad weather hampered their search efforts.

However, a private helicopter spotted a survivor on the shore who was soon transported to the local hospital.

READ MORE: Coast Guard rescue stranded boaters from island

Work Safe BC and the Transportation Safety Board have been advised of the incident. BC Coroners Service will be conducting a parallel investigation into the deaths.

The barge was carrying cargo in connection with the Rio Tinto project to drill a second tunnel at its Kemano hydro-electric generating facility. Water from the Nechako Reservoir flows through a first tunnel down to hydro-electric generators at Kemano to produce electricity which is then transmitted through power lines to Rio Tinto’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat.

The second tunnel is meant to provide a backup to ensure electricity can be generated using water from the Nechako Reservoir.

READ MORE: Two B.C. Indigenous Coast Guard auxiliary units receive big financial boost

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Arzeena Hamir, working her booth at the Comox Valley Farmers Market. LUSH Valley was recognized last month as a partner of the year by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets. Photo by Bill Jorgensen
LUSH Valley recognized for collaboration with Comox Valley Farmers’ Market

They won Partner of the Year award by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets

Chelsea Harry was last seen Feb. 21. Photo via Comox Valley RCMP
Comox Valley RCMP seeking help locating a missing woman

Missing person last seen in Courtenay on Feb. 21

A Coast Range Cannabis store has been approved for the Crown Isle Shopping Centre in Courtenay. Photo submitted
Courtenay council approves seventh cannabis retailer

Coast Range Cannabis to open second store in the Comox Valley

A map of the Village Forest Lands near Cumberland. Image, Village of Cumberland
Cumberland adopts forest management direction statement

Less detailed than full plan, documents sets out decision-making for village-owned land

Gp Vanier in Courtenay. Circa 2018. Photo courtesy Comox Valley Schools
Another COVID exposure alert for Vanier Secondary in Courtenay

Island Health has sent another exposure alert to parents of students attending… Continue reading

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

This was the scene outside North Saanich’s Parkland Secondary School after an attempted but unsuccessful break-and-enter into the school torched an ATM inside of it. Sidney/North Saanich RCMP did not make any arrests and currently lack suspects as the investigation continues. Members of the public who may have witnessed something or possess other information can contact police at (250) 656-3931 or to Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. (Submitted)
Money to burn: burglars torch North Saanich high school ATM

Police dogs searched the exterior and interior of the school after early morning break-and-enter

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforcement, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

Most Read