Monday, February 22, 2010

The Shipwreck That Got Away

June 29, 1984: It was a fine morning and we were diving with a group of friends in Discovery Passage, near Campbell River, British Columbia when we came across this remarkable scene.

The night before, during her third cruise along Canada’s west coast, the M.V. Sundancer ran aground near Maud Island, just 16 km north of Campbell River, on Vancouver Island. After the accident, Sundancer anchored temporarily in nearby Menzies Bay to access the damage. With uncontrollable flooding below decks, the ship set sail for Duncan Bay, limping in an hour later at 1AM. All 787 passengers were evacuated. Many passengers stated that the Sundancer’s crew appeared to be disorganized and that they had to orchestrate their own rescue. The vessel was declared a total constructive loss after human error is blamed for the accident.

This vessel would have made a great shipwreck for divers, but she was refitted and lived to sail again.