Crew Member Was Trapped
It wasn’t the crash that woke up Colin Henthorne, the captain of the Queen of the North passenger ferry, but frantic banging on his cabin door.
Karl Lilgert Trial: Queen Of The North Crew Member Was Trapped
VANCOUVER – It wasn’t the crash that woke up Colin Henthorne, the captain of the Queen of the North passenger ferry, but frantic banging on his cabin door as an unidentified crew member pleaded for him to come to the bridge.
He didn’t find out the reason for the panic until he was already out of bed and almost dressed.
“Before I got my shoes on, the ship struck aground,” Henthorne, who was fired by BC Ferries after the crash, testified Wednesday at the trial of one of his former crew members.
“I recognized immediately what it was. There was no mistaking that we were striking ground and continued to hammer along the rock.”
The ferry struck Gil Island off British Columbia’s northern coast.
Navigating officer Karl Lilgert is on trial for criminal negligence causing the deaths of two passengers, who haven’t been seen since the sinking on March 22, 2006.
Henthorne told the court he rushed to the wheelhouse, where alarms were blaring and officers were already taking their positions. He couldn’t recall whether Lilgert was still on the bridge by that point.
He checked the radar and saw the ferry was extremely close to land, he said. Outside the windows of the bridge, he saw mostly darkness, except for a single white light he assumed was coming from another boat several miles away.
“The first thing I did after taking those two glances was to pick up the microphone to the PA system,” Henthorne told the jury in the B.C. Supreme Court trial.
“I made an announcement for all passengers and crew to proceed directly to the boat and raft stations.”
Henthorne did what he could to save the ship, or at least buy some time.
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Source: Huffpost British Colombia.