Passenger recalls collision from ferry deck
VANCOUVER - A passenger who was on an outside deck of the Queen of the North passenger ferry the moment it struck an island off B.C. seven years ago says the weather was calm when he saw an island appear off the ship.
Kirby Jackson of Prince Rupert was on the ferry heading to Vancouver Island to work at a fish farm when the ship slammed into an island and sank in March 2006.
Jackson, the latest witness at crew member Karl Lilgert's trial for criminal negligence causing death, says he spent the evening watching movies and drinking beer as the ferry sailed down B.C.'s Inside Passage.
He says he stepped outside to have a cigarette on one of the ferry's outside decks when he noticed the sound of waves lapping against shore.
Jackson says that soon after he noticed that sound, he saw an island off the side of the ship, which the ferry struck with a loud noise.
Lilgert's defence lawyers have suggested poor weather contributed to the collision and subsequent sinking.