OTTAWA, Oct. 26, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Transport Canada today released the following statement concerning the accident near Tofino, B.C.:
"Our thoughts and condolences are with all those involved in this terrible tragedy.
"We are cooperating fully with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada in their investigation to determine the root causes of the accident. Transport Canada has appointed a ministerial observer, which is a departmental official who will keep us informed on the investigation's progress.
"Transport Canada deployed a National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP) aircraft today as part of the search for the missing person. NASP is a surveillance aircraft used for marine safety and security incidents and provides services to many federal government departments, including the RCMP.
"Because safety is Transport Canada's top priority, we have deployed three inspectors to the accident site who will verify that the vessel operator was in compliance with the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 at the time of the accident.
"Transport Canada is responsible for the registration, inspection and certification of commercial vessels, including whale-watching vessels, and develops regulations for their safe operation under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.
"Transport Canada takes the safety of passengers aboard these vessels very seriously. The department regularly monitors and enforces compliance with all applicable regulations through inspections to verify that vessels are properly crewed and that the crew is able to carry out emergency duties.
"We will continue to work with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada to do all we can to maintain and enhance the safety of Canada's marine sector."
For more information on the regulations that apply to passenger vessels, please visit http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/acts-regulations/acts-2001c26.htm.
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SOURCE Transport Canada
For further information: Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, 613-993-0055