Marine news release 2008

TSB # M04/2008

THE TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD OF CANADA MAKES RECOMMENDATIONS TO REDUCE SAFETY RISKS FOR FISHING VESSELS OPERATING IN ICE

(Gatineau, Quebec, November 26, 2008) - The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today released its final investigation report (M08M0010) into the March 29, 2008 capsizing and loss of life aboard L'Acadien II, off Cape Breton Island.

On the morning of March 29, 2008, the small fishing vessel L'Acadien II struck a large piece of ice and capsized while being towed by the Canadian Coast Guard ship Sir William Alexander. Two crew members were rescued and three deceased crew members were recovered. One crew member is still missing and presumed dead.

"In our investigation, we have looked at all of the factors that led to this tragic accident," said Don Eaves, Investigator-In-Charge. "Then we looked beyond these factors and examined the risks encountered every day by Canada's fishing vessels. The two recommendations the TSB is making are aimed at ensuring the safe operation and safe return of fishing vessels from ice-infested waters", he added.

The Board recommends that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans develop comprehensive safe towing policies, procedures, and practices that take into account all safety risks associated with towing small vessels in ice-infested waters. The Board also recommends that the Department of Transport include in the proposed Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations adequate measures to ensure that all fishing vessels operating in ice - including those participating in the seal hunt - are structurally suited for their operating environment.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway, and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

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The public report, M08M0010 is also available on this site.


The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

For more information, contact:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Media Relations
Telephone: 819-994-8053
Email: media@tsb.gc.ca