Marine investigation M16A0115

Fatal accident aboard an oyster barge

The occurrence

On 29 April 2016, an oyster barge with 2 people on board experienced a crane failure 0.5 nautical miles East of Milligan's Wharf, Prince Edward Island. There was one fatality. No pollution was reported.

Map of the area


Photo of Terry Hiltz

Terry Hiltz joined the Transportation Safety Board as a senior marine investigator in 2012 after 31 years with the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG). The first 26 years of his CCG career were onboard CCG vessels in various positions, including chief engineer. In his last 5 years there, Mr. Hiltz worked as a shore-based vessel maintenance manager, with delegation as the technical authority on numerous CCG vessels for refit projects.

Mr. Hiltz holds second-class motor and fourth-class steam engineer certification, and is also certified as a ship security officer and lead SMS auditor.

Transportation Safety Board investigation process

There are 3 phases to a TSB investigation:

  1. Field phase: a team of investigators examines the occurrence site and wreckage, interviews witnesses and collects pertinent information.
  2. Examination and analysis phase: the TSB reviews pertinent records, tests components of the wreckage in the lab, determines the sequence of events and identifies safety deficiencies. When safety deficiencies are suspected or confirmed, the TSB advises the appropriate authority without waiting until publication of the final report.
  3. Report phase: a confidential draft report is approved by the Board and sent to persons and corporations who are directly concerned by the report. They then have the opportunity to dispute or correct information they believe to be incorrect. The Board considers all representations before approving the final report, which is subsequently released to the public.

For more information, see our Investigation process page.


Marine Investigation Report M16A0115
Deck crane failure and fatality
Unregistered aquaculture vessel
Milligan's Wharf, Prince Edward Island
29 April 2016



Video of a test performed at the TSB laboratory to ascertain how the crane failed.
Watch the video

Deployment notices

Transportation Safety Board of Canada deploys team to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, following an accident aboard an oyster barge
Read the deployment notice