Canada whale watching boat accident: Five British nationals die as Leviathan II sinks off Vancouver Island, foreign secretary Philip Hammond confirms

Catherine Neilan
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The boat sank off the coast of Tofino, West Canada (Source: Reuters)

Five British nationals died when a boat they were using to watch whales sank off the coast of Tofino, Western Canada, the foreign secretary has confirmed.

The Leviathan II, a 65-foot cruiser, sank just before 5pm local time near Plover Reefs, west of Vargas Island. There are thought to have been 27 people on board in total.

Local media reported that 21 people had been rescued, 18 of which were sent to the Tofino General Hospital while a further three were sent to larger facilities, including Vancouver General Hospital. One person was believed to still be missing.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said: "It is with deep sadness that I can confirm five British nationals have lost their lives when the whale watching boat they were on sank off Western Canada on Sunday.

"My thoughts are with the family and friends of all those affected by this terrible accident. Consular staff in British Columbia are supporting the family members of those who have died and we will remain in close contact with Canadian authorities as further information becomes available."