Cruise Ship Deaths

Shirley Rosett
Ship Sinking Death

Queen Of The North - March 22, 2006


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Shirley Rosett, 42 - Ship Sinking Death

Queen Of The North Passenger, March 22, 2006

Time of Death 1:00

Time of Cruise Ship Death Shirley Rosett Gerald Foise

Only 99 passengers and crew have survived after the overnight ferry they were traveling in sank off the north coast of Canada's British Columbia early on Wednesday. Two are still missing

The missing are Gerald Foisey, 46, of 100 Mile House, British Columbia and Shirley Rosette, 42, of Canoe Creek First Nation. B C Ferries sources indicate they think the couple may have gone down with the ship.

The Queen of the North began listing after she hit Gil Island shortly before 1 a.m. local time, about 135 kilometers from Prince Rupert. The Queen of the North was sailing south on a 450-kilometre overnight trip from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy along B.C.'s Inside Passage.

Capt. Trafford Taylor, B.C. Ferries executive vice-president of operations, said the Queen of the North was out of the shipping channel when it hit rocks. The captain, Colin Henthorne, was not on the bridge at the time. The three-member bridge crew normally take lunch between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. on the 15-hour overnight voyage between Prince Rupert and Port Hardy, on Vancouver Island. The ferry was on autopilot as it neared Gil Island, where it was scheduled to make a turn.

An alarm sounded as it veered off course moments before the collision.

That triggered a cascading series of errors. The key mistake was a failure to reduce speed, causing the ship to sail past it's turning point and plow into the rocks of Gil Island at 19 knots.

The two crew members also failed to ask for help from other officers to cope with the off-course warning, sources told Global.

Warren Gill, a geographer from Simon Fraser University who has studied shipping on British Columbia's coast for 29 years, says it appears human error may have been involved in making the ship go off course. He said, that this ship has gone on this route for almost 30 years, you know, with an experienced crew and it's quite a surprise they would make this mistake

Many passengers were asleep when the incident occurred. It took about an hour for the ferry to sink, giving passengers time to scramble into lifeboats in choppy seas, said Coastguard Cpt. Leah Byrne.

Fishing boats from nearby communities, a helicopter and several coast guard vessels responded to the distress call.

The ship is completely submergedm in 1200 feet of water. Officials are waiting for one more rescue ship carrying survivors to arrive in Hartley Bay, a community roughly 120 kilometers south of Prince Rupert, where other passengers have been taken. Hartley Bay village is inaccessible except by air and boat.

The entire Hartley Bay community of 200 helped turned out to pluck survivors from the frigid rough seas and to give the passengers blankets, hot coffee, tea, pastries and hot chocolate

The ferry had been making the 450-kilometre journey from Prince Rupert south to Port Hardy when the incident happened. The 125-metre long ship could hold up to 700 people and 115 cars.

The recovery effort will include trying to contain and recover 5700 gallons of #2 diesel fuel and 5200 gallons of hydrolic oil, as well as the fuel and oil content of 15 vehicles that sunk onboard.

A few survivors reported minor injuries, such as a wrist injury and a gashed head. Health officials in Prince Rupert said 11 people had been treated in hospital for cuts and scrapes

In 1918, the CPR ship Princess Sophia sank in Lynn Canal after hitting a reef. All 343 passengers and crew died, Gill said. IN 1952, another CPR ship, the Princess Kathleen, sank by its stern, the same as the Queen of the North

One year later...

B.C. Ferries will lower company flags to half-mast fleetwide in remembrance of the sinking of the Queen of the North and the two individuals who lost their lives.

August 2009, Brittni Lee Foisy, 19, and her sister Morgan Taylor Foisy, 15, went to court seeking damages for the wrongful death of their father, Gerald Foisy, 46, after their dad and his partner, Shirley Rosette, died. They were awarded $200,000.

The deal calls for Brittni Foisy to receive $76,992 for general and special damages and for Morgan Foisy to receive $84,992. Legal costs amounted to $22,976 and disbursements were $15,038.

A breakdown of the agreement reveals that the girls each received $30,000 for loss of love, guidance and affection and $10,000 each for loss of past financial support.

Britnni received $11,992 for loss of future financial support and Morgan got $19,993 under that heading. Both received $25,000 each for loss of inheritance.

The family of Rosette had earlier reached an out-of-court settlement, the details of which have not been revealed.


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