Thursday, October 20, 2011

NTSB report examines cause of Katmai tragedy

The National Transportation Safey Board has posted its report on the October 2008 sinking of the cod boat Katmai in Aleutian waters, killing seven crewmen. Here's the conclusion:

Probable cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the sinking of the Katmai was the loss of the vessel's watertight integrity because watertight doors from the main deck to the processing space and the lazarette were left open by the crew at a time when the vessel was overloaded and navigating in severe weather, which allowed water to enter the vessel resulting in progressive flooding and sinking. Contributing to the accident was the master's decision to continue fishing operations during the approach of severe weather rather than seeking shelter and to load twice the amount of cargo addressed in the vessel's stability report. Also contributing to the accident was the owner's failure to ensure that the stability information provided to the master was current and that the master understood it and operated the vessel accordingly.

The report's accident narrative makes for some riveting reading, unfortunately.

The NTSB report follows the U.S. Coast Guard investigative report released last year.

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