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Marine transportation safety investigation M21C0265

The TSB has completed this investigation. The report was published on 31 January 2024.

Table of contents


Rescue boat 1864
Off Île au Diable
Montréal, Quebec

View final report

The occurrence

On 17 October 2021, Service de sécurité incendie de Montréal rescue boat 1864, with 4 firefighters on board, was dispatched to rescue a pleasure craft that had had an engine failure and was drifting toward the Lachine Rapids in Montréal, Quebec. The rescue boat attempted to tow the pleasure craft through the rapids. During this operation, the rescue boat suddenly capsized, and the four firefighters fell into the water. Three firefighters were rescued and treated for hypothermia. First responders, the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal, Canadian Armed Forces helicopters and the Sûreté du Québec assisted in the search for the missing firefighter. The search continued into the next day, when the firefighter’s body was located and recovered.

Media materials

News release


TSB releases investigation report into 2021 capsizing of a rescue boat and subsequent loss of life in Montréal, Quebec
Read the news release

Deployment notice


TSB deployed a team of investigators to Montréal, Quebec, following a fatal capsizing that occurred yesterday

Québec, Quebec, 18 October 2021 — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has deployed a team of investigators following a fatal capsizing that occurred yesterday in Montréal, Quebec. The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence.

Investigation information

Map showing the location of the occurrence


Photo of Gerard Kruithof

Gerard Kruithof has been a senior marine investigator at the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) since 2017. Prior to joining the TSB, he worked at Transport Canada for eight years as a senior marine safety inspector. He was also a surveyor with Lloyd’s Register for three years.

Mr. Kruithof has ten years' sailing experience on several types of foreign-going ships and holds a First Class Marine Engineer's Certificate for motor vessels.

Class of investigation

This is a class 3 investigation. These investigations analyze a small number of safety issues, and may result in recommendations. Class 3 investigations are generally completed within 450 days. For more information, see the Policy on Occurrence Classification.

TSB investigation process

There are 3 phases to a TSB investigation

  1. Field phase: a team of investigators examines the occurrence site and wreckage, interviews witnesses and collects pertinent information.
  2. Examination and analysis phase: the TSB reviews pertinent records, tests components of the wreckage in the lab, determines the sequence of events and identifies safety deficiencies. When safety deficiencies are suspected or confirmed, the TSB advises the appropriate authority without waiting until publication of the final report.
  3. Report phase: a confidential draft report is approved by the Board and sent to persons and corporations who are directly concerned by the report. They then have the opportunity to dispute or correct information they believe to be incorrect. The Board considers all representations before approving the final report, which is subsequently released to the public.

For more information, see our Investigation process page.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates air, marine, pipeline, and rail transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.