Accused crew member told colleague 'my life is over' after fatal ferry sinking

The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - A trial has heard that the crew member accused of criminal negligence in the fatal ferry sinking told a colleague that his life was over as he and other crew and passengers sat in life boats.

Karl Lilgert is accused of causing the deaths of two passengers, who disappeared when the ferry struck an island and sank in March 2006.

Robert Burn, a deckhand, says he pulled his rescue boat alongside Lilgert's life boat after the evacuation, and Lilgert told him "my life is over."

The trial has already heard Lilgert appeared distraught after the sinking, with the ferry's captain becoming concerned that the man may have been suicidal in the hours that followed.

Lilgert was the officer in charge of navigating the ship when it missed a course alteration and sailed towards Gil Island, running aground and sinking to the bottom of Wright Sound off B.C.'s northern coast.

The defence has attempted to blame poor training and inadequate equipment for the sinking, while also suggesting Lilgert's navigation was hampered by bad weather and another boat in the water.