SeaBus near miss prompts police search for boat, occupants

The Burrard Otter II crew were forced to pull an emergency stop after a small white sport fishing craft appeared to steer onto a collision course with the SeaBus in Vancouver harbour.

Small white pleasure craft spotted speeding toward midline of Burrard Otter II on May 5

Translink Seabus leaving North Vancouver for downtown Vancouver. (CBC)

Vancouver Police say they are looking for a boat and its owner after a near miss with a SeaBus in the Burrard Inlet earlier this month.

According to the VPD, on May 5, a small, white pleasure boat was spotted travelling eastbound with three people on board. Crew on the Burrard Otter II first noticed the small boat heading directly toward the seabus and sounded the horn several times.

A VPD news release says both boats were about halfway across the Vancouver harbour by the time the alert was sounded, but the smaller vessel failed to veer off. Instead, it appeared to correct its course to head for the middle of the Otter II, putting both vessels into dangerously close proximity.

VPD Marine Unit Const. Jamie Gibson says when the powerboat was just 600 feet away, crew were forced to pull an emergency stop which allowed the smaller boat to pass within 30 feet of the larger vessel's bow.

Under the collision regulations of the Canada Shipping act, any power-driven vessel approaching another power vessel on the latter's port side is required by law to give way.

Police looking for 3 people

Police are now looking for two men and a woman on board the smaller craft. The boat was travelling about 30 knots or 55 km/h and is described as a white, sport fish-style vessel with twin black outboards.

The Burrard Otter II had more than 200 passengers and four crew members aboard.

The Vancouver Police Marine Unit is asking anyone who might have seen the incident or captured a photo to contact Const. Jamie Gibson at jamie.gibson@vpd.ca.