All 30 men on board the Panamanian ore carrier Lee Wang Zin
lost their lives when the vessel capsized in gale force winds
and high seas 20 mi NE of Rose Point, Queen Charlotte Islands, BC,
in about lat 54.36N, long 131.38W on December 25, 1979.
Two bodies were found wearing lifejackets
but the remaining 28 crewmen were feared
to have been trapped inside the vessel,
which then drifted until being caught
between rocks at the mouth of Kendrick Bay.
Severe bottom damage was clearly visible on the upturned hull.
However, no trace of the missing men was found.
The Lee Wang Zin, which had been on a voyage from Tasu
to Japan carrying a cargo of 54,310 long tons of iron ore pellet
feed concentrate, was subseqeuntly taken in tow
with the intention of scuttling her 70 miles out in the Pacific,
but she sank on January 1, 1980,
23 miles SW of Dall Island, while still under tow.
An inquiry by the Marine Casualty Investigations Department
of Transport Canada concluded that the most probable cause
of the loss of the vessel was due to her striking Celestial Reef,
Dixon Entrance, as she was sailing out of Queen Charlotte Islands area,
which resulted in a massive intake of water through heavy bottom
damage by way of the port wing ballast tanks
that probably extended through to the engine room.
They concluded that the capsizing was extremely swift,
with few of the crew having time to get into their life jackets,
and none into life rafts or lifeboats.