05/26/2016 14:01 EDT | Updated 05/27/2017 01:12 EDT

Transportation Safety Board to asses double-tug crash, sinking near Nanaimo

NANAIMO, B.C. — The Transportation Safety Board is investigating a collision between two tug boats that caused one vessel to sink near Gabriola Island, off the east coast of Vancouver Island.

The safety board's Pacific operations regional manager Mohan Raman says two crew members of the Albern were thrown into the water and rescued after their tug was hit by the C.T. Titan about 6 p.m. Tuesday.

He says the larger ship overpowered the smaller boat, which sank about 90 metres to the bottom of the Northumberland Channel between Gabriola and Vancouver Island.

Raman says the crew members weren't hurt and he will conduct interviews next week to determine what caused the collision.

He says both tugs, which have the same owner, were returning to base for crew changes, and weather doesn't appear to be a factor.

The TSB will assess the crash and examine whether there were any safety deficiencies, but will not assign fault or determine liability.