The Latest: 1 still missing from sunken Canadian vessel

AP News
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Posted: Oct 26, 2015 2:30 AM

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — The latest on the deadly sinking of a whale watching boat with 27 people on board off Vancouver Island on Sunday (all times local):

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11:15 p.m.

Canadian authorities say one person remains missing after a whale watching boat with 27 people on board sank off Vancouver Island.

Lt. Commander Desmond James of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre said the agency's search has concluded with five people dead, 21 rescued and one person missing.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police will take over the search for the person who remains missing.

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11 p.m.

British Columbia Coroner spokeswoman Barb McLintock said late Sunday five were dead so far after a whale watching boat sank off the coast of British Columbia.

"We can now confirm a death toll of five to date in the whale watching boat incident near Tofino," she said.

She said the coroner's office can only confirm deaths, not the number of missing persons.

Rescue officials say they are continuing their search through the night.

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10:30 p.m.

Valerie Wilson, a spokeswoman for the Vancouver Island Health Authority, says 18 people were taken to a Tofino hospital after a whale watching boat sank off the coast of British Columbia.

She says of those, three have been transferred to other hospitals.

Some of the 18 have already been discharged, she said.

"There may be other discharges through the evening," she said.

Authorities said that at least three people have died.

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10 p.m.

Joe Martin, a member of the Tal-o-qui-aht First Nation, was near the dock when the rescue boats that went to the aid of a sunken whale watching vessel began returning to the tourism community of Tofino.

Authorities have said that at least three people died when the boat sank.

Martin said two people were brought in on a Zodiac boat. Workers tried to resuscitate them but eventually covered them with blankets.

He said his brother and nephew were out halibut fishing when they saw the overturned boat and tried to help. Instead, the men pulled in three bodies, he said.

The ship was on the far side of Vargas Island in Clayoquot Sound, an area that Martin said could get really rough. But it wasn't Sunday.

"It wasn't even blowing hard," he said. "This is the largest boat in Tofino and I was really surprised that it went down."

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9:15 p.m.

Lance Desilets says when he arrived on the scene of the sunken whale watching vessel off the British Columbia community of Tofino after being told rescue boats were needed, at least 12 boats were already out and more were going in as he returned.

The Tofino fishing guide says search and rescue craft and helicopters were also on-scene.

"I saw a lot of personal belongings, a long diesel slick and the top 10 feet of the Leviathan II sticking out of the water," Desilets said. "It's a sad day for our community and the search and rescue people are doing the best that they can."

Authorities said earlier that at least three were dead.

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7:50 p.m.

Canadian authorities say eight people are hospitalized after a whale watching boat sank off British Columbia's Vancouver Island.

Valerie Wilson, a spokeswoman for Island Health, said of the eight at Tofino General Hospital, seven are stable and one is serious condition, but stable. The hospital is not far from the dock.

Officials earlier confirmed at least three were dead. Twenty-seven were on board.

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Associated Press writers Jeremy Hainsworth in Vancouver and Rob Gillies in Toronto contributed to this report.