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Accident Report Detail

Marine Accident Brief: Flooding and Sinking of Fishing Vessel Ambition

Executive Summary

​About 1600 on July 23, 2016, the commercial fishing vessel Ambition started taking on water in its lazarette while transiting in the Bering Sea near the northern entrance to False Pass off the Alaska Peninsula. The vessel began sinking by the stern, and efforts by the crew to determine the source of the flooding were unsuccessful. After the captain transmitted a distress call over VHF radio at 1832, the five crewmembers donned immersions suits and abandoned the vessel into the water and onto an awaiting good Samaritan vessel. The crew suffered no injuries. The Ambition continued to slowly sink and was last seen at 2209. Most of the fuel oil on board was later recovered by salvors, but a light oil sheen was observed in the area in the days immediately following the sinking. Two attempts to raise the wreck were unsuccessful, and the vessel was declared a total loss with an estimated value of $700,000.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the sinking of the fishing vessel Ambition was the flooding of the lazarette from a breach in the steel hull.

Accident Location: False Pass , AK USA Bering Sea, 55° 09.2 N, 163° 16.3 W
Accident Date: 7/23/2016
Accident ID: DCA16FM045

Date Adopted: 1/30/2018
NTSB Number: MAB1804
NTIS Number:  

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