Transport Canada fines Wainwright Marine $52,000 over fatal 2021 tug sinking off British Columbia’s north coast – Coast Mountain News

Transport Canada fined Wainwright Marine $52,000 for its role in the sinking of the tugboat in 2021 Ingenika near Kitimat, which claimed the lives of crew members Troy Pearson and Charley Cragg.

The decision was met with outrage by families and local politicians.

“I am pleased that Transport Canada has determined that Wainwright Marine was negligent in its operations, but I am very disappointed that the maximum fine for such negligence is only $60,000,” said Judy Carlick Pearson, the wife of Troy Pearson. “How will businesses ever learn if they get a pat on the hand?”

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach says the fine is not enough to protect seafarers. He has met with Transport Minister Omar Alghabra several times to press for tug safety.

“The minister says he is working on new regulations, but every day that passes is another day when seafarers are in danger,” Bachrach said. “The Minister should issue orders under existing legislation to improve safety while full regulations are being developed.”

Currently, no certification is required for commercial vessels under 15 tonnes (or those modified to fit this class), no specific training is required for crew members and there is no limit on the size of barges that can be towed.

“These penalties are just the start. Ultimately, we need to see change within the shipping industry in Canada, especially when it comes to the tugs and crews that work tirelessly in BC’s coastal waters,” said Genevieve Cragg, Charley Cragg’s mother.

Families are hoping the maximum fines will be increased from the current cap of $60,000.

“Our fight for justice is not over. We will continue to promote further changes. Ultimately, fines of such low value must be increased to at least $250,000. If not, companies will not suffer the consequences and will continue to be negligent,” said Carlick Pearson.

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