NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Sunday, October 25, 2015, 10:23 PM
Rescue crews crowd a dock as boats searched the waters near Tofino, B.C., for survivors of a whale watching boat that sank with 27 people on board.
The Leviathan II, a whale watching tour boat with 27 people on board, sunk off the coast of British Columbia, killing at least three passengers, rescue officials said on Sunday.
Searchers are combing the coastal waters for survivors after the 65-foot ship with Jamie’s Whaling Station and Adventure Centres made a 4 p.m. emergency call to the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria based in Tofino.
“There are fatalities involved and survivors,” Joint Rescue officials confirmed in a statement, but without speculating what led to the maritime accident.
Rescue boats lined a dock in Tofino as first responders helped what appeared to be survivors step onto the pier, according to photos from another charter company.
“Tofino is dealing (with a) tragic boating accident,” a Burnaby Tours spokesperson wrote to Twitter.
The central coast of Vancouver Island is popular for whale-watching tours and is about 130 miles northwest of Victoria.
Rescue crews are seen searching for people near Tofino, B.C. after a boat carrying 27 people overturned on October 25, 2015. Credit – Rami Touffaha / Burnaby Tours & Charters
An employee with Jamie’s confirmed their vessel was involved in Sunday’s accident.
This is the second ship to capsize for Jamie’s Whaling Station. Rough seas six miles out of Tofino sank one of the company’s cruisers, killing two out of four passengers in 1998.
A fourth passenger was found in shock inside the capsized boat after it flipped right-side up.
This is a developing story and will be updated.