Safety panel concerned about pot use by B.C. ferry crews
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is worried about marijuana use by British Columbia ferry crew members, based on interviews after...
VICTORIA, B.C. — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is worried about marijuana use by British Columbia ferry crew members, based on interviews after a fatal ferry sinking last year.
Board spokesman John Cottreau said today there has been no suggestion that crew members were high when the Queen of the North slammed into an island and sank in March 2006, but investigators were told pot use was not uncommon between shifts, on board as well as off the vessel.
Two people vanished and are presumed dead and 99 passengers and crew were rescued after the sinking.
"We interviewed enough people who told us the crews were regularly smoking cannabis, and a pattern began to emerge," Cottreau said in an interview with The Canadian Press from Gatineau, Quebec. "We have reason now to believe the practice continues and it may not be isolated to a few individuals."
There was no immediate comment from ferry system officials.
The board has sent warnings on the issue to British Columbia Ferry Services and the Ferry and Marine workers' Union, Cottreau said.
"Ferry crews whose performance is impaired by cannabis are a clear risk to the traveling public," board Chairwoman Wendy Taro said in a news release. "We are confident that B.C. Ferries will determine the extent of the problem and effectively manage this risk so it will not lead to a serious accident."
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
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