Canada Whale-Watching Tragedy: Four Dead As Boat Sinks

A whale-watching boat has sunk off the coast of British Columbia in Canada, leaving at least four people dead, emergency bodies say.

The boat sank near Tofino on Vancouver Island in the west of the country, coastguard and rescue officials said.

Associated Press and Agence France-Presse reported that there were 27 people on board.

Rescue officials quoted by Canadian media said at least four people had died.

Their nationalities are not known.

Barb McLintock, a spokeswoman for the British Columbia coroner, told AP there were “multiple” deaths. She added that authorities did not yet have a firm number of casualties as the incident was ongoing.

The Canadian broadcaster CBC said nine people had been transferred to hospital or were being treated by first responders, having been in the water.

The Canadian coastguard tweeted that boats form Tofino continued to be involved in the rescue.

The boat appeared to have sank some distance from the shore, CBC said.

Canadian media said the boat was operated by Jamie’s Whaling Station and Adventure Centers. The company’s website said its whale-watching tours were finishing for the season on 31 October, and that it had been operating for 30 years.

Reports said seas near Tofino were calm and the weather sunny when the boat sank.

Tofino is a popular destination for tourists wanting to spot humpback and Pacific Gray whales, and trips usually last up to three hours.

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