A dozen jurors who have spent nearly four months hearing evidence about the sinking of the Queen of the North passenger ferry have retired to consider their verdict.

Navigating officer Karl Lilgert is on trial for criminal negligence causing the deaths of two passengers, who haven't been seen since the BC Ferries vessel struck an island and sank off the coast of B.C. in March 2006.

The trial heard from dozens of witnesses, including surviving passengers and crew, fishermen who rushed to the scene to respond, marine safety experts, and relatives of missing passengers Gerald Foisy and Shirley Rosette.

Lilgert also testified, telling the trial he was doing everything he could to navigate the ship through rough weather and around two other boats, though he couldn't explain how the ferry collided with an island despite those efforts.

The Crown accused Lilgert of making up the story he told the jury, alleging Lilgert wasn't paying attention as the ship sailed on a collision course with the island. In addition to the two counts of criminal negligence causing death, the jury can also consider the lesser charge of dangerous operation of a vessel.