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Katie Taylor: Family pay tribute to Canada boat victim

Katie Taylor, 29, worked at a spa in Whistler, Canada. Credit: Family handout/FCO

The family of Katie Taylor, who died when a whale-watching boat sank off the coast of Canada, said she was "a vibrant, outgoing and lovely young woman".

In a statement issued by the Foreign Office, they added: "She will be very much missed by all of her family and many friends."

People on capsized whale boat were 'all in same place'

Almost all of the 27 passengers and crew members were on the top deck and on the left-hand side of a whale-watching boat when it capsized, investigators have revealed.

Five people, all British nationals, were killed when the boat went under off the coast of Tofino, Canada.

Investigations are ongoing Credit: Reuters

Marc-André Poisson, director of marine investigations at the country's Transportation Safety Board, said the number of people in the same position would have affected the ship's centre of gravity.

This meant that when a large wave hit the boat from the right, it caused it to tilt and then capsize.

Investigators have interviewed all three crew members and some of the 21 survivors about what happened, and plan to begin a physical examination of the boat today along with a detailed inspection of its safety and maintenance records.

A 27-year-old man from Sydney remains missing.

Brits killed in boating accident 'weren't wearing lifejackets'

It's not a legal requirement to wear lifejackets on boats like The Leviathan II. Credit: Reuters

The British Columbia Coroner says the preliminary investigation into a whale-watching boat sinking suggests that the five British people killed were not wearing life jackets and were on the top deck of the vessel.

All five "died at the scene", a spokesperson for the Coroner's office said.

Passengers on boats of the size involved in the accident aren't required by law to wear them, the coroner also said.

Canadian police and the Transportation Safety Board are still investigating the accident, which happened on Sunday.


Community nominated for award in wake of boat tragedy

Credit: ITV News

The British Columbia Premier Christy Clark will nominate two officials for a citizenship award for the response to a boat accident that killed five British people.

Tofino mayor Josie Osborne and Chief of the Ahousaht First Nation Greg Louie will be nominated for the award on behalf of their communities who took part in the rescue operation following the tragedy, the Premier told reporters at a press conference.

Clark also said more lives would've been lost if it weren't for the quick response of the Ahousat First Nation community.

Teachers pay tribute to respected former student Stephen

18-year-old Stephen was killed in the tragic accident. Credit:

Former teachers of Stephen Thomas,18, one of the Brits killed in a boating accident off the coast of Canada, have paid tribute, calling him a "positive role model for others".

Isambard Community School Headteacher Sue Banks said:

He never used the term 'I can't' and was constantly smiling. He was respected by students and staff alike.

I have received messages of disbelief and sorrow from many staff including those who have left and of course we are preparing for our students returning to school next week, many of whom knew Stephen.

– Sue Banks, Isambard Community School

Daughter of Jack Slater pays tribute to 'lovely' dad

The heartbroken daughter of Jack Slater - one of the Brits who died in a tragic whale-watching accident in Canada - has paid tribute to her "lovely" and "larger than life" father.

Writing on Facebook, Michele Slater Brown said:

Our hearts are broken today, our father was one of the people who lost their lives on the whale watching tragedy in Tofino.

Our Dad was larger than life, a charmer, handsome, entrepreneur, engineer in the Navy, he was 76 years old, he was our Dad, our lovely Dad, I will miss him forever but I'm grateful for all the times I spent with him, I love you dad.

– Michele Slater Brown

She later posted that she had been notified of his death "in the wee hours of this morning".

"I'm a bit foggy, my heart is hurting so much," she added.

"He was an adventurer, he lived his life his way, I'm so sorry he had to die in this way, it's a tragedy beyond belief.

"I'm proud of who he was and who he created. My sisters are strong and we will continue to live our lives, always with him in our minds and hearts."

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