On July 8, 2022, about 2200 local time, the fishing vessel Grace Marie was about 80 miles east of Gloucester, Massachusetts, transiting to fishing grounds, when the engine room began flooding. The crew of seven was unable to pump out the water with the vessel’s bilge pumping system, and they abandoned the vessel into an inflatable liferaft. A nearby Good Samaritan vessel rescued the crew, and no injuries were reported. An oil sheen was observed the next day in the area where the vessel was last seen. The Grace Marie, valued at $650,000, was a total loss.
We determined that the probable cause of the flooding and sinking of fishing vessel Grace Marie was uncontrolled flooding of the engine room from an undetermined source, likely a failure of the doubler-plated hull below the engine room.
Using Doubler Plates for Hull Repairs
Although doubler plating can be used as a temporary repair solution, it is not generally suitable as a permanent repair for a vessel’s hull. Vessel owners should crop out wasted steel on the hull and replace it by inserting new plating instead of covering it up with doubler plating.