Sunken BC Ferry May Soon be Found

Monday, March 27, 2006
British Columbia Ferries could get a first glimpse of its sunken vessel Queen of the North this weekend. Nuytco Research Ltd. has been hired by the ferry operator to survey the remains of the 37-year-old ship, which sank south of Prince Rupert after its hull was ripped open as it steamed off course and struck a submerged rock. Two passengers remained missing and were presumed dead. About 100 passengers and crew were rescued, with only a few minor injuries reported, after the Canadian coast guard and residents of the small Indian community of Hartley Bay raced to the scene. Initially, the Nuytco sub will be the eyes for Canada's Transportation Safety Board, which has jurisdiction over the site but has not yet arranged for its own survey of the wreck. The B.C. Environment Ministry team has been using booms to try to contain the sheen of diesel spreading from the wreck site. A shoreline cleanup assessment team is focusing on sensitive areas such as clam and oyster beds. A member of the Gitk'a'ta First Nation at Hartley Bay, whose residents helped rescue the ferry survivors, is helping the cleanup assessment team. The dive down to the Queen of the North will be the deepest wreck survey his company has carried out, far deeper than its look at the William Carson, a CN Marine ferry that sank off Newfoundland in 1977 in about 500 feet of water. The Queen of the North is believed to be as deep as 1,150 feet. (Source: Seattle Post Intelligencer)
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