VANCOUVER -- The Victoria search and rescue centre has been given an award for its work the night the B.C. Ferry Queen of the North sank in 2006.

The Heroes and Rescue Award, which recognizes outstanding search and rescue efforts, was presented to the centre by the Justice Institute of B.C.

All but two of the 101 passengers and crew aboard the Queen of the North were rescued after the ferry ran into an island and sank off the northern B.C. coast near Hartley Bay.

In accepting the award, rescue centre commander Maj. Mitch Leenders paid tribute the people of Hartley Bay, who responded to the disaster by sending out a flotilla of small boats to help in the rescue.

Rear Admiral Tyrone Pile says while the award was presented to the rescue centre, which includes military and coast guard personnel, the team couldn't do its work without the help of the RCMP, coast guard auxiliary and civil air search and rescue volunteers.

A Transportation Safety Board report into the disaster said two officers on the bridge of the ferry had failed to make a critical course correction just before the grounding because they were engaged in some sort of conversation.