A cargo ship believed to be carrying hundreds of Tamils from Sri Lanka continued sailing toward the B.C. coast yesterday, crossing into an economic zone that extends 370 kilometres from Canada’s shores, and bringing with it a potential flood of refugee claims.

Now its arrival in Canada appears imminent.

A government source told The Canadian Press the ship entered Canada’s exclusive economic zone yesterday afternoon and was expected to arrive somewhere in the Victoria region, though it wasn’t clear when.

The source suggested there could be close to 300 people aboard the ship.

Two Vancouver-area jails have been told to make room for at least 200 additional inmates.

Vancouver-based immigration lawyer Dan McLeod said he has been asked to act as duty counsel for some of the migrants once they arrive.