Canada's Transportation Safety Board says a tall ship carrying dozens of teenagers sank off Brazil in a squall last year because the risk of a capsize was not understood by the crew.
All 48 students and 16 crew members from a Canadian sailing school were rescued February 19, 2010. But the board said Thursday they spent two nights adrift on the ocean awaiting rescue from Brazilian authorities who initially treated an emergency beacon signal as a false alarm.
The board says appropriate responses such as reducing sail or changing course were not taken before the squall hit. Board member Jonathan Seymour says with doors, windows and vents left open, water rapidly flooded into the vessel and the ship went over.
School officials said 42 of those aboard were from Canada, while others were from the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Europe and the West Indies.