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Accident Report Detail

Sinking of Oceanographic Research Vessel Seaprobe

Executive Summary

​About 0315 local time on January 18, 2013, the oceanographic research vessel Seaprobe sank in the Gulf of Mexico, about 130 nautical miles south-southeast of Mobile, Alabama. Before the vessel sank, all 12crewmembers evacuated to inflatable liferafts from which the United States Coast Guard rescued them shortly thereafter. Three crewmembers were injured.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the flooding and subsequent sinking of the Seaprobe was the decision of the vessel owner to delay making permanent repairs to the starboard-side exhaust trunk and covering six of the vessel's freeing ports, leaving the Seaprobe susceptible to downflooding from boarding seas. Contributing to the accident was the owner's failure to comply with the vessel's safety management system and mandatory load line regulations.

Accident Location: Gulf of Mexico , Alabama USA About 130 nautical miles south-southeast of Mobile, 28°12.2' N, 86°27.3' W
Accident Date: 1/18/2013
Accident ID: DCA13NM008

Date Adopted: 9/25/2014
NTSB Number: MAB1418
NTIS Number:  

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