NEWS
02/06/2018 10:41 EST | Updated 02/06/2018 11:21 EST

Drowning of 6 people on whale watching vessel an accident: B.C. coroner

VICTORIA — The drowning deaths of six people during a whale watching trip off British Columbia has been classified as accidental by the province's coroner's service.

Its investigation into the October 2015 deaths made two recommendations to Transport Canada aimed at preventing fatalities in similar circumstances.

The service says life-jackets should be worn by all passengers on the outer decks of vessels larger than 15 gross tones and carrying more than 12 passengers.

It is also calling for a review of regulations to determine whether to expand the class of vessels that are required to carry emergency position radio beacons.

The Transportation Safety Board concluded a large breaking wave flipped the Leviathan II, sending 27 people into the water, killing five Britons and a man from Australia, near the resort community of Tofino.

The coroner says the ship's owner, Jamie's Whaling Station, has initiated changes to its procedures and practices to prevent further incidents.