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Marine transportation safety investigation M19A0025

The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 23 September 2021.

Table of contents

Sinking and loss of life

Workboat Captain Jim
Approximately 4 NM southeast of Halifax Harbour, Nova Scotia

View final report

The occurrence

On 29 January 2019, the workboat Captain Jim, with 2 crew members and 1 passenger on board, began taking on water and became disabled 2.8 nautical miles from its home port of Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia. A short time later, the vessel sank rapidly. One of the crew members and the passenger managed to board the vessel’s life raft. They were rescued by a Halifax Harbour pilot boat and taken to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Divers located the body of the other crew member inside the vessel’s wheelhouse later that day.

Media materials

News release


Fatal sinking of the Captain Jim in 2019 attributed to compromised stability following vessel modifications
Read the news release

Deployment notice


TSB deploys a team to Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia, following the sinking of the service boat Captain Jim

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, 29 January 2019 — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators to Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia, where the service boat Captain Jim sank this morning. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of Glenn Budden

Glenn Budden has been a Senior Marine Investigator at the Transportation Safety Board of Canada since 2008.

Prior to joining the TSB, Mr. Budden owned and operated a commercial fishing business. He has 35 years’ experience in the fishing industry, operating, managing and advising on several types of fishing vessels and fisheries on both coasts. In his later years, in the fishing industry, he facilitated the first industry led stability education program (Fishsafe) to fishermen in British Columbia.

Mr. Budden holds a Fishing Masters II certificate, and his last vessel was the seiner ‘Ocean Venture’.


  Download high-resolution photos from the TSB Flickr page.

Class of investigation

This is a class 3 investigation. These investigations analyze a small number of safety issues, and may result in recommendations. Class 3 investigations are generally completed within 450 days. For more information, see the Policy on Occurrence Classification.

TSB 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.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates air, marine, pipeline, and rail 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.