Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Official TSB Report on Leviathan II Capsize falls short...Just As Expected.

Leviathan II Capsized Hull Shortly after the accident and
Just Prior to Being Towed to Harbour

Here is the official report, released today, of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada on the Leviathan II Incident that occurred on October 25th of 2015.  I have read the Report and focused on those parts pertinent to the testimony of the Captain.  This is the element of the occurrence that has been missing ever since the day of the accident.  The testimony of the captain IMO should have been captured in open court as soon as possible...and subject to cross-examination.  As it stands, we only have the TSB's rendition of the Captain's testimony of what happened.  Crucially and critically, even according to this report...the Captain says that just before the wave hit the boat from the starboard side, he heard "a noise".

The Leviathan II first proceeded along the south side of Plover Reefs and then made a 180° turn and returned to the southeast side of the reef, where the sea lions were located, to provide passengers on both sides of the vessel with an opportunity to view them (Appendix B). Shortly before 1500, the master was maintaining the vessel's position on a northerly heading approximately 100 m off the reef in water that was approximately 7 m deep while the passengers were watching the sea lions on the port side. As the vessel was departingFootnote 7 toward the north side of the reef, the master and one deckhand heard a noise and looked aft, at which time they saw a large breaking wave bearing down on the vessel's starboard quarter. The top of the wave was reported to be above the flying bridge. The master reached for the throttles in an attempt to turn the vessel to port so that the vessel would encounter the wave on the stern..."

 . . . .

2.1 Factors leading to the capsizing and loss of life

While the Leviathan II was at Plover Reefs to allow the passengers to view sea lions, the vessel maintained a position on the weather side of the reef, exposed to the incoming swell. As the vessel was leaving the area, a large wave approached the vessel from the starboard quarter. Moments before it struck the vessel, the master heard a noise that caused him to look aft and notice the wave. However, by this point, the wave was breaking and it was too late to realign the vessel in order to minimize the impact of the wave. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) stability assessment supports the conclusion that the forces exerted on the vessel by this wave were sufficient to overcome the stability of the vessel and cause it to capsize; no other significant factors contributing to the capsizing were identified...."
The report does not state what kind of a noise it was that the captain heard that alerted him to the coming "rogue" wave.  Was it the noise of an explosion?  Was it a "crashing" or "cracking" sound of an impact?  Was it the roar of the surf? What was the "noise"?!  The report goes into great detail about the Captain's eyesight...but not his hearing.  If there was a was his hearing?

'What was the noise?' is the most important detail of the entire report.  It was the only "warning" the crew received about the impending tragedy--but it is not even addressedThis makes the entire report bogus, IMO.  Just as I thought.  We will NEVER learn the truth about what really happened that caused the Leviathan II to capsize.

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