The Queen of the North sinking - latest news

John Campbell
16th March 2010, 20:38
Vancouver Sun
March 16, 2010 1:01 PM

Ship's officer charged in fatal B.C. ferry sinking

Karl Lilgert, fourth officer on the BC Ferries vessel Queen of the North when it sank off the northern tip of Vancouver Island on March 22, 2006, has been charged with criminal negligence causing the deaths of two passengers.

The Queen of the North, southbound from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy, failed to make a course alteration as it left Grenville Channel. Ninety-nine of the 101 passengers escaped in lifeboats as the ferry sank and were taken to the nearby village of Hartley Bay.

Second officer Keven Hilton was on a scheduled meal break at the time, leaving crew members, and former lovers, Karl Lilgert and Karen Bricker in control of the vessel when it went aground.

Two people, Shirley Rosette, 42, and her companion Gerald Foisy, 46, were never found and have been declared dead.

Lilgert has been charged on the basis that he was the navigating officer responsible for steering the vessel at the time of the incident.

The available evidence does not support the laying of charges against anyone other than Lilgert, according to a court media release. The charges were sworn Tuesday and a court appearance has been scheduled for April 14.


BC Ferries has admitted it is liable for the sinking and any proven damages resulting from it. A Transportation Safety Board report concluded the sinking happened in part because of the lack of a third qualified person on the bridge to aid Bricker.

Lilgert, Hilton and Bricker were subsequently fired by the company.

16th March 2010, 21:07
Wow, this has been a long time coming