Navigation officer blames other boat, visibility for deadly BC ferry crash

The Canadian Press
February 19, 2013

VANCOUVER - A B.C. Supreme Court trial has heard that minutes after a B.C. Ferry slammed into an island, the man who was navigating the ship blamed another boat and limited visibility.

A senior officer aboard the Queen of the North when it sank in March, 2006, says he wrote notes just after the incident recalling a brief explanation Fourth Officer Karl Lilgert offered in the midst of the crisis.

However, Second Officer Keven Hilton told the court there was nothing to indicate another boat in the vicinity or anything more than usual rain at the time.

Lilgert is charged with two counts of criminal negligence causing the deaths of two passengers who were aboard the ferry.

The Crown argues Lilgert was responsible when the ship missed a turn on its overnight route from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy.

Hilton, who had just gone on break before the crash leaving control of the ship with Lilgert, told the court he felt it was an easy, routine turn and he had no concerns when he left the bridge.