Fishing vessel Carol Jean after losing propulsion

​Aerial view of the Carol Jean from the responding Coast Guard helicopter on March 17 before the captain and his friend were rescued. (Source: Coast Guard)​​

Loss of Propulsion of Fishing Vessel Carol Jean and Subsequent Sinking

What Happened

​On March 21, 2023, while anchored with no one on board, the commercial fishing vessel Carol Jean flooded and sank in the Atlantic Ocean near Tybee Island, Georgia. After the vessel’s emergency position indicating radio beacon activated at 1903, the US Coast Guard responded and found a debris field where the beacon’s signal originated. There was no pollution reported. The loss of the Carol Jean was estimated at $250,000.

What We Found

​We determined that the probable cause of the sinking of the commercial fishing vessel Carol Jean was likely flooding from an unknown source while the vessel was anchored offshore and unattended. Contributing to the loss of the vessel was the captain’s inadequate planning for a tow, leading to the Carol Jean being anchored after the tow line failed and fouled its propeller.​