Marine Accident Brief

Foundering of the Fishing Vessel Moonlight Maid

About 55 miles south of Seward, vicinity of Seal Rocks, Chiswell Islands, Gulf of Alaska 59° 10.2' N, 149° 30.0' W
September 20, 2012

NTSB Number: MAB-14-05
Adopted: March 14, 2014

Accident Summary

The wooden-hulled uninspected fishing vessel Moonlight Maid was transiting to Kodiak, Alaska, in heavy seas when the vessel sprung a plank and began flooding on September 20,2012. The vessel's bilge pumps were unable to keep up with the rate of flooding, so the crew of four made a Mayday call, donned survival suits, and abandoned ship into a life raft as the boat foundered. All were later hoisted to safety by a US Coast Guard helicopter without injury. The sinking resulted in an estimated loss of $400,000.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the foundering of the wooden-hulled fishing vessel Moonlight Maid was the detachment of portside hull planking in heavy weather, which resulted in uncontrolled flooding. Contributing to the hull failure was inadequate maintenance of the aging wooden vessel.