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

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

It’s been almost a year since the last public performance inside the Chemainus Theatre. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Lead donors pledge $60,000 in matching campaign at the Chemainus Theatre

Perrys, Hiltons and Duncan Iron Works help to Bridge the Gap during COVID shutdown

Doug Routley is the chair of a special committee on reforming the Police Act. (File photo)
Routley selected chair of a special committee on reforming the Police Act

Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA acknowledges there will be a lot of material to process

Beautiful flowers spring up on Thetis Island during February. (Photo by Kelly Bannister)
Weather conditions cover the full spectrum in February

The only thing missing from the region was a more summerlike feel

Police are investigating after a man was killed at a home on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police investigating early-morning murder in Duncan

One arrested after man killed at Cowichan Lake Road home

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

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

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

Most Read