Marine Accident Report

Sinking of the Recreational Sailing Vessel
Morning Dew at the Entrance to the Harbor of
Charleston, South Carolina
December 29, 1997

NTSB Number MAR-99/01
NTIS Number PB99-916401
PDF Document(900K)

Abstract: During the early morning hours of December 29, 1997, the 34-foot recreational sailing vessel Morning Dew struck the rock jetty on the north side of the shipping channel into the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. The owner/operator of the vessel and his three passengers, all members of the same family, died as a result of the accident.

The major safety issues identified in this investigation are the adequacy of the reasoning and decision-making of the operator; the fatigue and hypothermia suffered by the operator; the adequacy of the reasoning and decision-making of U.S. Coast Guard Group Charleston’s watchstanders; the adequacy of Coast Guard Group Charleston’s personnel, equipment, and procedures for responding to an emergency; and the role of the Coast Guard in providing factual information for safety investigations.

As a result of its investigation, the Safety Board makes safety recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard, the Governors of the 50 States and the U.S. Territories, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, the U.S. Power Squadrons, the National Safe Boating Council, and the Boat Owners Association of the United States.