Crew members of doomed ferry smoked pot: TSB

BC Ferries' disaster puts spotlight on drug testing in the workplace
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/14/2007

The issue of mandatory random drug testing has come to the forefront in the investigation of the Queen of the North ferry disaster in British Columbia.

On March 21, 2006, the ferry was taking vehicles and passengers from Prince Rupert, B.C., to Port Hardy, B.C. Shortly after midnight, the boat struck an island after a normal course correction on the route wasn’t made. Fifty-seven passengers and 42 crew members abandoned the ferry and it sank soon after. Two passengers were killed.

Following BC Ferries’ own inquiry that determined the sinking was mainly the result of “human factors,” the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released a communiqué last month. The TSB said its own investigation into the incident revealed several crew members of the doomed ferry smoked marijuana between shifts. This took place both on- and off-board the ship.