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Report due in deadly whale-watching sinking

The bow of the Leviathan II, a whale-watching boat owned by Jamie's Whaling Station, is seen near Vargas Island, Tuesday, October 27, 2015 as it waits to be towed into Tofino, B.C., for inspection.
The bow of the Leviathan II, a whale-watching boat owned by Jamie's Whaling Station, is seen near Vargas Island, Tuesday, October 27, 2015 as it waits to be towed into Tofino, B.C., for inspection. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

The Transportation Safety Board will release its report later today into the deadly capsizing of a whale-watching boat off the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Six people died after the Leviathan II flipped during a whale-watching expedition near the resort community of Tofino in October 2015.

There were 27 people on board the vessel, including three crew.

READ MORE: Victims remembered one year after Leviathan II tragedy in Tofino

The role of the TSB is to investigate marine, pipeline, rail and aviation incidents and make recommendations to improve safety. The federal agency does not assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

Tom Hawkins, a lawyer who represents some of the survivors and family members of the deceased, says his clients are looking forward to getting some answers.

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READ MORE: A year later: pain from Tofino whale-boat tragedy remains

Jamie’s Whaling Station, the vessel’s owner, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Court documents filed last year in response to a civil claim describe the event as an “act of God” that could not have been reasonably predicted.

An RCMP investigation remains open pending the release of the safety board’s report.

In the days following the sinking, safety board investigators said a wave hit the vessel’s starboard side while most passengers and crew were on the top deck of the port side. The board said that the vessel tilted up, rolled and capsized.

Survivors described being thrown into the ocean without life jackets, grabbing hold of a single life ring that floated in the waves.

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