Transport Canada and WorkSafeBC are investigating after a worker says he was injured in a tugboat accident on a ship traveling through the Gardner Canal this week.
Irvin Joseph was serving as a deck attendant on the tug Cadal on November 2, transporting a barge from Kitimat to Kemano.
‘Charley paid the highest price’: BC mother calls for regulatory change after son’s tugboat sinks
The crew was dining around 7pm and another deckhand was on duty when the tug Wainright Marine ran aground on Rix Island in the Gardner Channel.
“He looked up and noticed that we were heading straight for the beach,” Joseph said.
“It’s definitely a scary time, that’s for sure.”
The tugboat captain was able to reverse the vessel and then used it to ram the barge he was towing to prevent it from running aground as well, Joseph said.
Deadly sinking of a tugboat in BC prompts a call for changes in maritime safety regulations
“He hit him quite hard and I tensed up quite well. I think this is where my injury came from, ”he said, explaining that he has since sought treatment for severe neck pain.
The crew checked the ship to make sure no water was getting in and then completed its journey to Kemano.
“It really reminded me of what happened with the accident in February,” he said.
February 11 is when the Ingenika, another tugboat operated by Wainright Marine, sank in stormy weather in the Gardner Canal while also towing a barge from Kitimat to Kemano.
Tugboat ‘incident’ near Kitimat, BC, leaves two men dead: RCMP
Charley Cragg, a 25-year-old on his first day on the job, died, along with the ship’s captain. The 19-year-old first mate on the tug survived.
The cause of that incident remains under investigation, but Cragg’s mother has since called for stricter regulation of the industry, particularly for smaller tugs.
Jason Woods, president of the ILWU Local 400 Marine Section, said he remains concerned about the lack of training across the industry.
“Often this ‘do it all’ attitude leads to situations like this,” he said.
“I think the lack of training and certification is clearly evident because no one is claiming any kind of mechanical or weather problem, this is simply a lack of proper surveillance. There is absolutely no reason to run aground when you go between point A and point B. “
Global News has requested comment from Wainright Marine.
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