Human error is being cited by the Transportation Safety Board in connection with the sinking of a B.C. Ferry that killed two people in March.

Investigators released this photo of the
the sunken ferry in March. (Courtesy:
Transportation Safety Board)
In a letter sent to BC Ferries, the board said some crewmembers on the Queen of the North may not have received the proper training on the ship's new steering and navigational equipment.

The ferry crashed into a rock off Gil Island on B.C.'s north coast in the early hours of March 22, about five hours into a 15-hour trip south to Port Hardy from Prince Rupert. It came to rest in silt 427 metres below.

The bodies of passengers Gerald Foisy, 46, and Shirley Rosette, 42, have not been recovered. The rest of the 101 passengers and crew were brought to safety.

The TSB said some crew members on the bridge of the ship felt they did not have enough training to work with the new equipment — specifically the newly installed auto-pilot system.

BC Ferries CEO David Hahn said the
company is taking action to deal with
the training issue. (CBC)
"These are master mariners, so again I'm having a little trouble that they would want to be in control of a ship and not be familiar with their equipment," said David Hahn, president and CEO of BC Ferries.

Hahn said the company is taking the preliminary findings seriously and have already taken steps to address the training issue.

"We've introduced a new form that we're asking all the officers to sign, stating that they're familiar with the equipment, they're comfortable with it," he said. "We have to remove that doubt."

Hahn said on the weekend that "less than four" of the unionized crew had refused to answer questions for a company investigation into the accident; they could face possible suspension or termination.

Representatives from the BC Ferry and Marine Workers' Union and the TSB were not available for comment.