Father and son among 5 killed in Canada boat sinking

The British Columbia Coroners Service has released the names of the five British nationals who died after a whale watching boat capsized off Vancouver Island.

AP Last Updated: Oct 28, 2015, 04:14 AM IST

Tofino (British Columbia): The British Columbia Coroners Service has released the names of the five British nationals who died after a whale watching boat capsized off Vancouver Island.

A search continued for a missing Australian man. Twenty-one people were rescued.

The British Columbia Coroners Service identified the five victims, two of whom were British nationals living in Canada.

They are David Thomas, 50, and his 18-year-old son Stephen, from Swindon in southern England; Katie Taylor, 29, of Whistler, British Columbia; Nigel Francis Hooker, 63, of Southampton, England, and Jack Slater, 76, of Toronto.

The Down Syndrome Association UK said in a statement that David Thomas was a "huge supporter" of the organization and "one of the driving forces behind the Swindon Down's Syndrome Group, where he was a trustee."

Stephen Thomas, who had Down Syndrome, "was a very talented young man and a gifted photographer," the association said in a statement.

"His love of photography started when he was eight years old. We were all delighted when Stephen's beautiful image Moraine Lake won the national My Perspective photographic competition last year," the association said.

"All of our thoughts and condolences are with the Thomas family at this terrible time," the group added.

Microsoft UK said David Thomas was an employee. "Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with their family, friends and David's colleagues and we will be doing everything we can to support them," the company said.

David's wife, Julie, was rescued and is in hospital with minor injuries.

Michele Slater Brown, of Milton, Ontario, said she was notified about her father's death "in the wee hours this morning," and called him "larger than life, a charmer, handsome, entrepreneur, engineer in the navy...And a lovely dad."

Coroner Matt Brown said a preliminary investigation suggests those who died were on the top part of the boat and that they weren't wearing life-jackets because it's not required in the type of vessel they were in.