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Accident Report Detail

Sinking of the Recrational Sailing Vessel Morning Dew at the Entrance to Harbor

Executive Summary

​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 boat was later found about 15 yards south of the jetty, submerged in about 12 feet of water. The owner/operator of the vessel and his three passengers, all members of the same family, died as a result of the accident.

Probable Cause

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the sinking of the recreational sailing vessel Morning Dew was the operator’s failure to adequately assess, prepare for, and respond to the known risks of the journey into the open ocean that culminated in the vessel’s allision with the jetty at the entrance to Charleston Harbor. Contributing to the loss of life in this accident was the substandard performance of U.S. Coast Guard Group Charleston in initiating a search and rescue response to the accident.

Accident Location: Charleston , SC    
Accident Date: 12/29/1997
Accident ID: DCA98MM028

Date Adopted: 10/5/1999
NTSB Number: MAR-99-01
NTIS Number: PB99-916401