AN INVESTIGATION into the sinking of a Canadian boat which killed six people, including a Hampshire father-of-three has confirmed none of the passengers were wearing lifejackets.


That's despite almost all of them standing on the deck of the boat before the accident, and some not being able to swim, when the accident occurred on October 25, 2015.


The Leviathan II, operated by Canadian tour firm Jamie's Whaling Station, sank with 24 passengers, including Nigel Hooker, 63, from Hedge End, and three crew members on board.


Passengers fell into the ice-cold water, with a number of them suffering injuries while falling and catching hypothermia.


The boat, which was taking people to watch whales and seals, ran into difficulty eight miles from the small town of Tofino.


Investigators discovered that all the passengers were on one side of the vessel, which had made it turn its stern corner. This then exposed it to the oncoming waves.


Although a crew member attempted to compensate for this by reaching for the throttles to turn the vessel and minimise the impact, the waves crashed before this could be effective.


Clinton Riberio, an investigator for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, said: “The vessel broached, it rose up and turned sideways to the wave and thus was vulnerable to capsizing. Capsizing only took an instance.”


It was also revealed that although other vessels came to help, it took 45 minutes to alert the authorities.


Four other British victims died in the tragic incident, including father-of-two David Thomas, 50, and his 17-year-old younger son Stephen Thomas, from Swindon; Jack Slater, 76, from Salford; and 29-year-old Katie Taylor, from Lichfield, in Staffordshire.


At the time of the incident, Matt Brown, a regional coroner for the Island Region of the British Columbia Coroners Service, said: "What we have found thus far is that none were wearing life jackets.


"As I understand through the current regulations, that's not a requirement in the area that they were or on this vessel."


It is believed that following the investigation these regulations may be changed.