It has been over ten years since the Queen of the North sank off the BC north coast in March 2006 near Hartley Bay. During this time, BC Ferries has fired ten personnel including the captain, and seen the fourth mate sent to prison on a conviction of criminal negligence. Finally, the captain on that fateful night, Colin Henthorne, has released his version of events in a blockbuster book titled “The Sinking of the Queen of the North”. From what I can decipher, the author strongly believes that BC Ferries did everything in its power to make scapegoats of him and his colleagues while doing everything in its power to cover up its woeful mismanagement and ineptitude. While Lilgert the fourth mate and Karen Briker the quarter master likely contributed to the tragedy with their inexcusable negligent behavior, evidence exists to show that the vessel had been refitted with a hard-to-operate control switch for the automatic pilot. Henthorne establishes a plausible timeline that shows the fourth mate switching the autopilot off to navigate around a smaller vessel upon entering the channel near Gil Island. He remembers restoring the mechanism to an auto setting, only to realize too late that the ship was heading in a deadly direction. Karen Briker, the inexperienced quarter-master and Lilgert’s former lover, was unable to work the device to get it back to where the boat’s course could be manually corrected in time. How the Queen of the North came to these dire straits (pun unintended) can be attributed in part to the fact that the crew was not effectively trained for such emergencies. While I agree that David Hahn and BC Ferries did little to accept liability, the ┬ácourts probably got it right in assigning the majority of blame to the lowly forth mate for what he didn’t do – maintain due vigilance. There were fifteen minutes or so when both employees who were responsible for the bridge during that watch were unable to account for their time. Any which way one cuts it, these two tragic figures were not doing their job as required. Since we took this trip from Port Hardy years ago, thousands of trips along the Inland Passage have been made safely, so why would anything be different this time around except for human error? Hence, the captain’s arguments do hold water when it comes to getting to the bottom of the matter. The consequences of a human mistake are such that two lives were lost along with millions of dollars in personal and public assets and ten careers.