Ferry officer gets four years in prison for fatal sinking of Queen of the North

The navigating officer aboard the Queen of the North passenger ferry when it sank off the B.C. coast, killing two passengers, has been sentenced to four years in prison.

VANCOUVER — The navigating officer aboard the Queen of the North passenger ferry when it sank off the B.C. coast, killing two passengers, has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Karl Lilgert was convicted last month of criminal negligence causing the deaths of Gerald Foisy and Shirley Rosette, who vanished when the Queen of the North missed a routine turn, collided with an island and sank in March 2006.

The Crown alleged Lilgert was distracted, possibly by the presence of his former lover, quartermaster Karen Briker, who was the only other person on the bridge with him.

Lilgert testified in his own defence, telling the jury he was busy navigating the ship and ordering course changes as he was challenged with rough weather and unreliable equipment.

B.C. Supreme Court Judge Sunni Stromberg-Stein says it’s clear Lilgert’s relationship with Briker was a factor in the sinking.

Lilgert’s lawyer has already indicated he plans to file an appeal of the conviction.

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