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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Love on the rocks

Ex-lovers in charge when ship crashed
Report blames total safety system breakdown
Cindy E. Harnett, Canwest News Service, with files from Reuters
Published: Thursday, March 13, 2008
VICTORIA - As the Queen of the North ferry sped toward the rocks of Gil Island off B.C.'s northwest coast, the two crew members in charge of the vessel at the time were deep in a personal discussion with the bridge lights dimmed and music playing in the background -- oblivious to the danger.
Former lovers 4th officer Karl Lilgert and quartermaster Karen Bricker had ended their affair just weeks before. The doomed voyage was their first shift together since their breakup.
Those intimate details were part of a much-anticipated Transportation Safety Board report released yesterday, nearly two years after the BC Ferries ship sank on March 22, 2006, killing two passengers.
Rumours that a romantic relationship contributed to the accident have circulated for a long time, and the TSB refused to provide more details on the pair's conversation -- saying only that the bridge crew co-operated fully with the investigation.

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