Crew boat operator leaves passengers shaken

Johnstone Strait (east coast of Vancouver Island)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Baseline Archaeological Services Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A group of workers travelling on a client’s boat reported the boat operator had some difficulties resulting in incidents concerning safety, such as:

• Trouble operating the throttle and GPS navigation system on which was relied solely on for navigational purposes

• Unfamiliarity with area/channel

• Lack of visuals (boats, and logs/debris) and trouble with application of boat rules

• Unclear fueling procedures

• Difficulty parking the boat - not clearly marked parking spot.

• Approach to the beach/rocks was difficult at an appropriate speed – often slamming into the rocks.

The crew was frightened at times and felt in danger to the point of refusing unsafe work – if a crew member with a great deal of boating experience in the area had not been in attendance to help with the issues.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

The company review with the worker “how to” procedures and applications relating to boat operation, as well as making a map of the route to and from islands; The boat operator takes additional training; and perhaps the mechanics of the boat and GPS are checked.

Corrective actions completed include:

• It was expressed directly to the boat operator at the time of the incidents that the crew had concerns about the operator’s training and/or fitness to operate the boat. The boat operator agreed that the concerns were valid.

• The boat operator’s superior was called to report the concerns. An explanation of the hazards that were noted in the field was given and recommendations for possible corrective action were made – such as more ‘hands on’ training (boat operator training on the water, in the area of work, with the boat driver in charge but supervised).

• A Safety Alert was submitted to the BC Forest Safety Council.

• The Close Call Hazard Alert was shared with all employees of the company at the next subsequent safety meeting.

• Employees and supervisors agree that without additional hands-on training, changes to boating practices, or the supervision of a qualified boat operator – that other arrangements for their company will be made in the future.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

For more information contact: Stephanie at (250) 897-3853 or email: sndawe@shaw.ca


File attachments
Crew boat operator leaves passengers shaken.pdf
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