March 6, 2016 12:12 am
Updated: March 7, 2016 10:57 am

Rescuers in whale-watching tragedy honoured

WATCH: It's been nearly six months since a whale watching tour boat capsized in the waters north of Tofino. Today, some of the 10 people who rushed to help rescue the 21 passengers thrown into the water were honoured for their heroic efforts. Kristen Robinson has the story.


VANCOUVER – A group of people has been honoured for saving 21 lives when a whale watching boat capsized near Tofino, B.C., last year.

READ MORE: 5 confirmed dead after whale-watching boat sinks near Tofino

The B.C. and Yukon Lifesaving Society awarded 10 people the Governor’s Gold Award on Saturday.

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The non-profit water safety organization gives out the award annually for the most heroic rescue of the year.

A large wave hit the side of the 20-metre-long Leviathan II during a whale-watching tour last October.

Twenty seven people were tossed into the frigid waters off the coast of Vancouver Island, and six died, including five Britons and an Australian.

Trinity Jezierski says the day is still fresh in her memory.

“You don’t go a day without thinking about it, and each day is a different emotion,” said Jezierski, one of the rescuers. “You just have to take it day by day. Be happy you’re here, but also sad for those who didn’t make it.”

READ MORE: First Nations among rescuers credited with saving lives after boat sinks off B.C. coast

The crowd gave the rescuers a standing ovation after they received their awards.

The Transportation and Safety Board is investigating the accident.

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