News release

Watchlist issue of fishing vessel safety prominent in June 2014 fatal accident in Queen Charlotte Sound, British Columbia

Richmond, British Columbia, 15 June 2015 – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today released its investigation report (M14P0110) into the loss of life involving the fishing vessel Diane Louise in Queen Charlotte Sound, British Columbia, on 6 June 2014.

A crew member on the fishing vessel Diane Louise went overboard while setting prawn traps 9 nautical miles west of Calvert Island in British Columbia. Although recovered within minutes and CPR was performed, the crew member succumbed to his injuries. The investigation found that the crew member became entangled in the groundline. The forward momentum of the vessel and the drag from the submerged traps attached to the groundline then pulled the crew member overboard. Unable to get free from the entanglement, the crew member was pulled underwater and drowned.

The investigation also identified a number of risk factors, including the lack of comprehensive risk assessments which could have identified unsafe work practices. It also determined that the crew were not using personal flotation devices (PFDs) while working on deck, nor were there any available for use. This can increase the risk of drowning for anyone going into the water.

Loss of life on fishing vesselsison theTSB Watchlist. Although regulations have been proposed by Transport Canada to address deficiencies with respect to fishing safety, there have been significant delays in implementation. The TSB is calling for concerted and coordinated action by federal and provincial authorities and by leaders in the fishing community to improve the safety culture in fishing operations, recognizing the interaction of safety deficiencies.


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