TSB to determine depth of tugboat investigation next week

Unidentified officials assess the damage to the tugboat Lac Manitoba on June 26, 2015. The TSB said it should know next week how far it will go with its investigation into the sinking of the two tugboats. (Cornwall Newswatch/File)

GATINEAU, Que. – The Transportation Safety Board should know next week how big of an investigation it will conduct on the sinking of two tugboats in Cornwall.

TSB investigators have been collecting evidence, as early as last week, from the June 22 sinking of the Lac Manitoba and LCM 131 in the St. Lawrence River near Lamoureux Park.

The two ships capsized trying to position a barge near the north channel bridge.

“Our folks did deploy to the occurrence,” spokesman John Cottreau told Cornwall Newswatch, “and then last week they deployed again at the end of the week to gather some more information. They’re still sifting through that information…they haven’t classified it yet.”

Cottreau explained what the TSB does as part of its “classification” procedure.

“We gather information to assess whether we’re going to do a full investigation with a report or whether we’re just going to collect that data and keep it in our statistical database.”

The evidence includes site surveys and interviews with witnesses.

The TSB is an independent investigative body that does not assess blame but makes recommendations on preventing future mishaps like the capsizing of these two vessels.

Meantime, tugboat owner Nadro Marine is starting the de-fueling of the Lac Manitoba this week under the supervision of the Canadian Coast Guard.

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