BRITISH COLUMBIA

Queen Of The North Trial Facts

05/13/2013 08:11 EDT | Updated 07/13/2013 05:12 EDT
CP/BC.Ferries
VANCOUVER - Navigating officer Karl Lilgert has been convicted of criminal negligence causing the deaths of two passengers in connection to the sinking of the Queen of the North passenger ferry. Some facts about the sinking:

Ship: The Queen of the North was built in Bremerhaven, Germany, in 1969 and entered service with BC Ferries in 1974. It was 125 metres long and could carry 650 people and 115 vehicles.

Final voyage: The ferry left Prince Rupert on March 21, 2006, at 8 p.m. with 101 passengers and crew on an overnight voyage to Port Hardy, on Vancouver Island. The ship collided with Gil Island at approximately 12:22 a.m. and sank. Survivors were taken to either Hartley Bay, a nearby First Nations village, or the coast guard ship Sir Wilfred Laurier.

Victims: Gerald Foisy, 45, and Shirley Rosette, 43. The common-law couple had been living in 108 Mile House, though they had recently moved to 100 Mile House as they prepared to sell their home. Foisy worked for years as a metal fabricator, while Rosette found temporary work as a receptionist at the Dog Creek Indian Band, where she was from. They each had two children from previous marriages. Foisy separated with his wife several years before meeting Rosette, while Rosette's husband died in a fishing accident in 2003.

Accused: Karl Lilgert, now 59, a deckhand who was living in the Prince Rupert area at the time of the sinking. He has two sons. Lilgert moved to the B.C. coast from Alberta in the 1970s, eventually becoming a fisherman and starting as a deckhand at BC Ferries in 1990. By 2005, he was working as an officer aboard BC Ferries' northern routes about half the time, and in 2006, he only worked as an officer. In the months following the sinking, he moved to Grand Forks in B.C.'s southern Interior. He told the trial his relationship with his spouse fell apart after his criminal charges.

Charges: Lilgert was charged in March 2010 with two counts of criminal negligence causing death.

Trial: The trial started on Jan. 17 and heard from more than 70 witnesses, including Lilgert; his former lover, quartermaster Karen Briker; dozens of surviving passengers and crew; fishermen who were involved in the subsequent rescue; residents of Hartley Bay; marine experts; and relatives of the missing passengers. The jury started its deliberations on Tuesday.

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