Tug incident near Kitimat, BC

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The name of the tug is not mentioned, nor is the crew size. One survivor and two dead are accounted for. Anyone else?

Boskalis just finished up the dredging job for the LNG terminal at Kitimat.

UPDATE: Two confirmed dead in B.C. tugboat capsizing – Victoria News (vicnews.com)

This one says it’s a Wainwright boat. I’m not sure what their fleet makeup is. Not much more info available yet, it seems.

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7 small tugs according to their webpage:

Most of these are small Canadian “rule beater” tugs.

I recall reading an article written by Rob Allen a few years ago that explained the evolution of these small tugs.

I don’t recall all the ins and outs, but the length (about 42 feet) and the very low freeboard is intentional to keep the tugs under tonnage. These tugs often have a lot of horsepower for their small size. Tugs built before a certain date (maybe about 1990) and under a certain tonnage (maybe 15) do not require any certificated captains or crew. Tugs built after that date must be smaller (maybe 10 GT) to avoid the licensed Captain and crew requirement.

In Canada they also have just under 150 ton tugs and just under 350 GT tugs, to match their 150 ton and 350 ton tugmaster CoCs. This is similar to the 99 GRT and 199 GRT tugs we have in the US.

Over the past 15 years there have been about 30 girding incidents in British Colombia that caused tugs to roll over. Some of them were much bigger tugs. A combination of very strong currents and tight passages don’t leave much room for error.

The Ingenika.
Wainwright Marine, Prince Rupert
3 crew,
700hp, 36’ 03” Twin Screw, 14.63 T

Early hours of 11 Feb,
Strong Outflows. low temp,

I knew the skipper.
Two crew very young local lads.
Skipper and One crew lost, young lads first trip.
I hear the other young lad managed to don a survival suite and made it to shore he was found alive several hour later.
Hopefully he makes a full recovery.
May they Rest In Peace, condolences to the families.


Demands for formal safety management systems for undersized tug vessels and undermanned fleets along the B.C. coast and rivers are being issued by the Local 400 Marine Section of the International Longshore Workers Union, the organization announced in a news release on Feb. 24.

“The demand follows the tragic capsize of the tug Ingenika south of Kitimat on Feb. 11. The sinking claimed the lives of Troy Pearson, a seasoned skipper, and crew member Charley Cragg, believed to be working his first-ever shift aboard a tug. A third young crew member, Zac Dolan, was rescued after washing ashore in icy waters and sub-zero temperatures,” the press release reads.

In a letter to the federal Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra, the union is also requesting regulations for vessels under 15 gross-tons with sufficient oversight, including manpower and an enforcement budget, be established to ensure that operators follow any new regulations and procedures governing hours of work, risk assessment, training, communications and towing arrangements (equipment).

“For at least ten years, Transport Canada has debated such regulation and oversight. Formal consultations began in 2010,” the letter to Ottawa reads. “By mid-decade, regulators took a gamble — and sided with a narrow segment of the industry insisting that such regulations were too expensive for smaller vessels.”

In the letter to 15 recipients, including Rob Fleming BC Minister of Transport, Harry Bains, BC Minister of Labour, Transport Canada, Canadian Merchant Service Guild, Seafarers International Union, BC Ferry and Marine Workers Union, as well as others, the ILWU listed four other tugboat incidents along the B.C Northcoast where previous safety concerns and risks to crews were noted.

“The transportation Safety Board is investigating this month’s tragedy. We believe that its findings will produce safety lesson to be learned, applied, many mirroring the previous cautions to Transportation Canada,” ILWU wrote in the letter.

“Canadians pay $33 million a year for the professional independent, arms-length work of the TSB – not simply to find out how transport accidents happened, but to detail the specific lessons leamed and to craft recommendations to prevent them from happening again,” the ILWU media statement read.