Capt. Colin Henthorne reveals a first-hand account of what really happened on the night of the Queen of the North disaster.

Queen of the North captain compelled to write his story

Captain of the ship Colin Henthorne reveals a first-hand account of what really happened that night in his latest book

March 22, 2006 was a dark day for those aboard the Queen of the North, which struck an underwater ledge off Gil Island, 135 kilometres south of Prince Rupert.

Captain of the ship Colin Henthorne reveals a first-hand account of what really happened that night in his latest book The Queen of the North Disaster.

“I explain in the book how the ship is manned, how it’s run. It’s a car-carrying passenger ship. It’s not the same as the ferries you’re probably most familiar with on the southern coast,” said Henthorne, adding that it looks similar in appearance to a cruise ship of a certain era.

With 101 people on board, two have never been found and are presumed dead.

“We evacuated the ship with no outside assistance whatsoever. The assistance that came was after we were well clear of the ship and we were in rafts and boats and not in any danger,” said Henthorne.

The ship was a BC Ferries passenger vessel.

Following the disaster, Helmswoman Karen Briker was fired and fourth mate Karl Lilgert was charged with criminal negligence causing death. He was sentenced to four years in prison.

Henthorne was not on watch at the time of the sinking, although he said the captain is not on the bridge most of the time, only when required.

“So we have four officers that do the navigating. At least one is on the bridge, sometimes two. The captain goes on the bridge as he feels fit,” he said.

In recalling what happened the night of the devastating sinking, Henthorne said he didn’t start writing his story as a book, but started writing that same day.

When he was taken to Prince Rupert and put into a hotel room for four days, he jotted down all the details of what happened so he wouldn’t forget. Shortly thereafter, he was having to write in response to the investigations.

“They did send a submersible down and got the hard drive out of the navigation computer,” he said.

He said investigators interviewed many people several times, and him at least three times. His story, he said, is one of many, but it’s the first to be written  for the public to see and is his firsthand account of the incident and his response to what has been said about the sinking.

This is Henthorne’s first book and he said when he writes things, they have to be in response to something, And the sinking of the ship, he said, was a big thing.

“I started writing because I had to write.”

Henthorne currently lives in North Saanich and is a rescue co-ordinator with the Coast Guard.

 

Just Posted

New piece of art bedecks Prince Rupert Library

“The Quilt of Belonging to Prince Rupert” makes long awaited move to its new home

CityWest mistakenly overcharging customers on PST since 2013

Prince Rupert’s telecommunications company sent out notices to residents informing them of the error

Master students in Prince Rupert share their findings for a more sustainable city

Students with Ecotrust Canada’s North Coast Innovation Lab showcase their work at Lester Centre

Wind project between Haida Gwaii and Prince Rupert moves forward once more

Naikun Wind Energy Group announced partnership with major offshore wind development company

Disaster in store for Prince Rupert, announces Lester Centre of the Arts

Auditions set to take place at the end of October

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

The Northern View announces inaugural Tyee Fishing Derby in Prince Rupert

More than $7,000 up for grabs for biggest legal salmon and halibut

The Northern View 2019 Readers Choice

It’s that time of year again! Vote online or at the Prince Rupert office before noon on Aug. 30

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Most Read