A lack of experienced crew members and the inability to detect navigational errors led to a Sooke search and rescue boat running aground in 2019, according to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB).
In its investigation report released Thursday, the TSB determined that a “misinterpretation of navigational information” resulted in a Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCMSAR) vessel lying on the shore and all four crew members receiving injuries.
On Feb. 9, 2019, around 8 p.m., the Spirit of Sooke, an inflatable jet boat, left RCMSAR Station 37 in Sooke with a coxswain in charge, one crew member and two new crew members on board.
A trip to the Sooke Basin for re-fuelling was used as a chance to train new crew members with navigation and communication procedures.
After re-fuelling, the crew began heading back around 9:15 p.m., with the new crew members assigned to maintain lookout, with the coxswain navigating and the crew member at the helm.
As the boat neared Christie Point, the coxswain quickly figured that they were on course to hit the shore and told the crew member to change course. But it was too late.
At 9:34 p.m., the Spirit of Sooke ran into shoreline rocks at the speed of around 27 knots, or 50 km/h.
The boat launched into the air, slide along the shore around 25 metres and threw the crew members around the cabin.
The investigation found that the crew had relaxed their adherence to proper navigation guidance during the return trip. The boat was damaged and was temporarily removed from service.
Since the incident, all coxswains were given a refresher training session and two on-the-water training sessions.
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