Further investigation by TSB after two die in February tug sinking off northern B.C.

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TERRACE, B.C. — The Transportation Safety Board will conduct a broader investigation into the deadly sinking of a tugboat last month along British Columbia's north coast.

Two men died and one survived when the Ingenika sank Feb. 11 south of Kitimat while towing a barge, which remained afloat.

A data collection investigation has been completed by the board but a spokesman confirms a wider investigation is now planned looking for any contributing factors or safety deficiencies.

Chris Krepski says an investigation page will soon be posted on the board's website and a report will be released when the probe wraps up.

Further investigation of the sinking comes shortly after more than 10,000 people signed a petition launched by Judy Carlick-Pearson, the widow of one of the tug's crew members, who wants the boat raised from the Gardner Canal.

An email from Transport Canada says it would support that work, if directed by the Transportation Safety Board, but says the depth could complicate the effort.

Carlick-Pearson has said the Ingenika was loaded with fuel when it went down and raising it would not only remove an environmental hazard, it could provide answers about why her husband Troy Pearson and crew member Charlie Cragg died.

"The biggest part of our life is gone and if there's answers on that tug that indicate there was malfunctions or deficiencies or instability, then we'll have a better idea of what happened," Carlick-Pearson said in a statement.

Krepski said he does not know if the safety board's renewed investigation might include retrieving the tugboat. (CFTK)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 16, 2021.

The Canadian Press