Language selection

Marine transportation safety investigation M18P0230

The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 2 October 2019.

Table of contents

Girding and capsizing

Tug George H Ledcor
North arm of the Fraser River, British Columbia

View final report

The occurrence

On , the tug George H Ledcor was towing the loaded gravel barge Evco 55, with the assist tug Westview Chinook pushing to an unloading facility on Mitchell Island in the north arm of the Fraser River, British Columbia (BC). At approximately 2210, the George H Ledcor girded and capsized after being overtaken by the barge. The 4 crew members on board were rescued from the tug's overturned hull by the nearby yarding tug River Rebel and the assist tug Westview Chinook. One crew member sustained a serious injury to his hand. The assist tug then towed the overturned tug and barge to a nearby tie-up, where a pollution boom was deployed around the tug. An unknown quantity of diesel fuel was released as a result of the occurrence.

Media materials

News release


Girding and capsizing of the tug George H Ledcor on Fraser River underscores gaps in towing practices, training and oversight
Read the news release



Between 2005 and 2018, the TSB received reports of 26 girding situations resulting in 21 capsizings. Girding occurs when a vessel is pulled broadside by a towline force and is unable to manoeuver out of this position. The TSB created this video to illustrate the factors leading to girding and the recovery methods.

Video: Tug Girding

Deployment notice


TSB deploys a team of investigators to the site of a marine occurrence in the North Arm of the Fraser River, British Columbia

Richmond, British Columbia, 15 August 2018 — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is deploying a team of investigators to Richmond, British Columbia, where the tug George H Ledcor capsized and sank while towing the loaded gravel barge EVCO 55. 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.