The RCMP boarded and seized this vessel, of unknown origin, in Canadian waters Saturday. ((RCMP))

Dozens of men who were on board a freighter seized by RCMP officers off the coast of B.C. on Saturday have been taken to an unknown corrections facility in Vancouver.

Canada Border Services Agency spokesperson Rob Johnston said Sunday the 76 men found on the ship displaying the name Ocean Lady will undergo screening under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

"The examination is interviews by our border services officers to determine whether the people are admissible to Canada or not," he said.

The vessel was towed to Victoria on Saturday under an RCMP and navy escort after HMCS Regina was tipped last week that the Ocean Lady had entered Canadian waters off Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island and was acting oddly.

Authorities are still trying to determine where the men came from and why they were on a ship that sailed unannounced into Canadian waters.

Federal Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan said there were indications the ship sailed from Sri Lanka, but the Canada Border Services Agency has not confirmed that.


People on the seized boat off the coast of British Columbia wave to a helicopter. ((RCMP))

The freighter had no flags flying on it, and the name Ocean Lady appears to have been written on the side with electrical tape.

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Alistair Macintyre said the ship will remain at Ogden Point in Victoria where it has been secured and is being examined.

"We don't want anybody else leaving it and entering Canadian shores undetected, and plus, we don't want anyone going on board and potentially contaminating a continuing criminal investigation," he said.

There is no indication how old the passengers are or whether any children were on board.

Authorities say the migrants told police who boarded the vessel that they wanted to come to Canada.

With files from The Canadian Press