Fishing Vessel Challenger before the causalty.

​Fishing Vessel Challenger before the causalty.​ (Source Paul C. Fleenor)

Grounding and Capsizing of Fishing Vessel Challenger

What Happened

​On August 7, 2022, about 0700 local time, while transiting along the northwestern shore of Kodiak Island, Alaska, the fishing vessel Challenger struck a submerged rock and began taking on water. The captain and three crewmembers used onboard pumps to remove the floodwater, but the pumps were unable to keep up, and the crew abandoned the vessel. A nearby Good Samaritan fishing vessel rescued them. The Challenger eventually capsized. There were no injuries, and no pollution was reported. Damage to the vessel was estimated at $600,000. ​

What We Found

​We determined that the probable cause of the grounding of the fishing vessel Challenger was the captain’s decision to navigate close to shore in an area known to him to have an uncharted rock. Contributing to the capsizing of the vessel was the lack of a watertight collision bulkhead and subdivision or compartmentalization below the main deck, which allowed for progressive flooding. ​

Lessons Learned

​Reporting Uncharted Hazards

In addition to marking hazards on their own charts and charting software, mariners can report issues (errors or omissions) with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s nautical charts and/or Coast Pilot through the Office of Coast Survey’s ASSIST tool. To report an issue such as an uncharted rock, a user can enter the rock’s position manually or drop a pin on the electronic navigation chart incorporated into the ASSIST tool. Users can access ASSIST from a computer or mobile device.

Coast Survey aims to follow up with all inquiries within 2 business days. Mariners should contact their regional navigation manager if they have questions about how to report a discrepancy. Contact information for regional navigation managers is posted here:     ​