Coroner confirms body as missing whale-watcher found off of BC
VANCOUVER – The BC Coroners Service says the body of a missing whale-watcher was recovered northwest of Tofino, B.C., is that of missing whale-watcher Raveshan Morgan Pillay.
The 27-year-old from Australia was listed missing after the Leviathan II boat was hit by a wave and capsized on Oct. 25 off Vancouver Island.
The coroner says surfers found a body on the beach of Vargas Island on Wednesday evening.
Pillay has been confirmed as the sixth person killed in the accident.
A body found near Vargas Island, B.C., yesterday has been identified as that of 27-year-old Raveshan Morgan Pillay, an Australian tourist missing since last month’s fatal whale-watching tragedy off the coast of Tofino.
Twenty-seven people were on board the MV Leviathan II when it sank on Oct. 25 off the west coast of Vancouver Island. Five people — all British citizens, including one resident of B.C. and another of Ontario — died.
Twenty-one people were plucked from the water by locals who responded to a flare and radio calls.
Pillay was the only person on the boat not accounted for in the search-and-rescue effort.
Divers searched for Pillay for several days, at times having to call off their search due to three- to four-metre swells.
Pillay’s body was found by a group of surfers who reported spotting a body on the beach at Vargas Island in the early evening of Nov. 18.
The investigation into what happened to the boat is ongoing, and is being handled jointly by the Transportation Safety Board (TSB), the RCMP and the BC Coroners Service.
The full report into the investigation is not expected for some time, but Marc-André Poisson, the TSB’s director of marine investigations, has said that the passengers appeared to have all been on one side of the boat’s upper deck when a wave hit.
“This would have raised the centre of gravity, affecting the vessel’s stability,” Poisson told reporterson Oct. 27.
He said the vessel then rolled and capsized.
“None of this preliminary information should be used in isolation to draw any conclusions at this point,” he said at the time.