Coast Guard announces investigation into disappearance of crab boat
By HAL BERNTON | The Seattle Times | Published: February 24, 2017
SEATTLE (Tribune News Service) — The Coast Guard will conduct a Marine Board of Investigation — the highest level of agency inquiry — into the Feb. 11 loss of the crab boat Destination and six crew members.
The investigation announced Thursday will be done in conjunction with the National Transportation Safety Board, according to Lt. Brian Dykens, a Coast Guard spokesman.
The Destination, which was registered in Alaska but sailed out of Seattle, disappeared at the beginning of a winter snow-crab harvest in the Bering Sea.
There was no distress call picked up from the crew of the 98-foot vessel, but an emergency signal indicated the vessel ran into trouble off St. George Island in the Pribilofs.
Searchers were able to find a life ring and other debris from the Destination, but the vessel was not found nor were any of the crew.
The missing crew members have been identified as Capt. Jeff Hathaway; Larry O’Grady, who served as a relief captain; and crewmen Raymond Vincler, Darrik Seibold, Charles G. Jones and Kai Hamik.
Coast Guard marine boards are typically reserved for serious maritime accidents. In the North Pacific fishing industry, these boards have included investigations into the 2008 sinking of the Alaska Ranger and the 2016 sinking of the Alaska Juris.
The Coast Guard Marine Board investigations include a series of public hearings at which witnesses are called. A final report includes a determination on the most likely cause of a maritime accident as well as recommendations to improve safety that are submitted to the Coast Guard commandant.
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