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Marine transportation safety investigation M18P0144

This investigation has been completed. The report was released on 20 November 2018.

Table of contents

Uncontrolled fall of rescue boat

Spirit of Vancouver Island rescue boat No. 3
Swartz Bay, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

View final report

The occurrence

On 20 June 2018, the passenger ferry Spirit of Vancouver Island, with 7 people on board, reported that its No. 3 rescue boat, with no one on it, slipped off the hook during hoisting after completion of a repair on its davit. The rescue boat fell into the water near the No. 1 dock at BC Ferries Swartz Bay Terminal, British Columbia. Damage to the rescue boat and its davit hook were reported. The damaged rescue boat was replaced with a loaner boat and the damaged hook was replaced with a new spare. No injuries were reported.

Media materials

News release


Investigation report: June 2018 uncontrolled fall of rescue boat at Swartz Bay Terminal, British Columbia
Read the news release

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of Zillur Rahman

Zillur Rahman began his career as an engineering cadet and currently holds a Transport Canada Class-1 (Motor) Certificate of Competency. In his 25 years of experience as an engineer, he has held several positions both sea-going and shore-based, with such companies and organizations as: Neptune Orient Lines (now American President Lines); Mediterranean Shipping Company; Barber Ship Management; and BC Ferries. His experience includes work with tankers, chemical tankers, bulk carriers, container ships, and roll-on-roll-off passenger ferries.


  Download high-resolution photos from the TSB Flickr page.

Class of investigation

This is a class 4 investigation. These investigations are limited in scope, and while the final reports may contain limited analysis, they do not contain findings or recommendations. Class 4 investigations are generally completed within 220 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.