Marine news release 2008

TSB # M03/2008

THE TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD OF CANADA IDENTIFIES SAFETY RISKS ON SAIL TRAINING VESSELS

(Gatineau, Quebec, October 30, 2008) - The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) today released its final report (M06F0024) into a December 8, 2006 occurrence aboard the sail training vessel Picton Castle, wherein a crew member was lost overboard in foreign waters.

On the afternoon of December 5, 2006, the sail training vessel Picton Castle departed Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, bound for St. George's, Grenada, in the eastern Caribbean Sea. On board were 12 crew and 16 trainees. On the evening of December 8, shortly before 10:35 p.m., while in heavy weather, a deckhand was swept off the sail training vessel Picton Castle by a large wave.

In its final investigation report, the TSB has identified seven findings as to causes and contributing factors related to the incident and five findings as to risk with the sail training vessel Picton Castle and its training program.

"In our investigation, we have looked at all of the factors that led to the deckhand being swept overboard," said Paul van den Berg, Investigator-in-Charge. "We came to the conclusion that, with strong safety measures in place, loss of life can be avoided."

Today, the Board released a Safety Concern in its report. "We are pointing why safety management systems are needed for all training vessels regardless of whether they sail under a Canadian or an international flag," added van den Berg.

The Board encourages Transport Canada (TC) to adopt a proactive approach with the specific objective of an early introduction of safety management systems for sail training vessels. The Board also encourages TC to take a proactive position at the International Maritime Organization with the objective of bringing all sail training vessels within the scope of the appropriate international conventions, while recognizing their special character.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

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The public report, M06F0024 and photos are also available on this site.


The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

For more information, contact:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Media Relations
Telephone: 819-994-8053
Email: media@tsb.gc.ca