Two-man crew swim to safety as tugboat sinks off British Columbia

Vancouver: A tugboat sank near Halfmoon Bay on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada, but there were no fatalities as the two crew members managed to swim to safety, the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) reported on Thursday.

The Wednesday afternoon incident occurred near Merry Island in the Georgia Strait and was noticed by Halfmoon Bay residents who alerted the CCG.

A Coast Guard spokesman said a Griffon helicopter, Buffalo aircraft, hovercraft and an additional Coast Guard vessel were dispatched to the scene where the tug boat Syringa sank although the barge it was towing remained on the surface.

The crew members – the tugboat’s skipper and a deckhand – swam to Merry Island where they were met by a lighthouse keeper and later taken to the town of Gibsons, BC. Neither man was injured.

A cause for the sinking was not known on Thursday afternoon but the Coast Guard’s Environmental Response Department will decide the next move regarding the tugboat.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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