Marine Accident Brief

Sinking of Fishing Vessel Heritage

Alitak Bay, about 3 miles from Lazy Bay, off southeastern end of Kodiak Island, Alaska
January 25, 2012

NTSB Number: MAB-13-01
Adopted: February 1, 2013

Accident Summary

The 67-foot-long fishing vessel Heritage was returning to Lazy Bay to unload a cargo of fish to the fish tender vessel Tuxendi. The seven-person complement on board the Heritage had been fishing south of Sitkinak Island, about 25 miles south-southeast of Lazy Bay. During the return, which took place in a storm, ice built up on the vessel, causing it to list, flood, and sink. The crew abandoned the vessel about 0600 on January 25, 2012.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause of the sinking of fishing vessel Heritage was the master's decision to proceed with the voyage despite known weather conditions that would adversely affect the safety of his vessel. Specifically, the weather conditions caused icing on the vessel resulting in a loss of stability due to added weight on the decks and superstructure.