NTSB Says Stability Problems Led to Katmai Sinking

Wednesday, October 19 2011

The investigation into the sinking of the F/V Katmai is officially over.

The National Transportation Safety Board released their report on the
disaster, and it concluded that the boat had a number of stability
problems that made it unable to withstand extreme storm conditions in
the Bering Sea. As a result, seven lives were lost when the
head-and-gut vessel flooded in 2008.

The marine accident brief stitches together testimony from the four
survivors who were aboard the 73-foot boat. At the time
of the sinking, the Katmai was traveling through Amchitka Pass, about
120 miles west of Adak. It was heading toward Unalaska with 120,000
pounds of frozen cod when a severe storm hit. The Katmai lost its
ability to steer, and the boat started taking in water just before
midnight on October 21, 2008. The skipper of called for an evacuation
of the boat shortly after that. One of the eleven crew members is
believed to have gone down with the ship. Six others were lost when
the two liferafts aboard rolled in rough seas. The four survivors were
ultimately rescued by the Coast Guard over 15 hours after the sinking.
At the time of the accident, the wind speed was believed to be around
70 knots, and seas were between 20 and 30 feet.

The National Transportation Safety Board came to many of the same
conclusions that the Coast Guard reached during their investigation.
They found that the probable cause of the sinking was that watertight
doors from the lazarette were left open and that the vessel was
carrying twice the recommended amount of cod.

News Community About Site by Joseph Redmon