USCG Convenes Board of Investigation for Scandies Rose Sinking

Scandies Rose (file image via Pinterest)

Published Feb 28, 2020 3:03 PM by The Maritime Executive

The U.S. Coast Guard has convened a Marine Board of Investigation into the loss of the crab fishing vessel Scandies Rose and five of its seven crewmembers on New Years' Eve. A Marine Board of Investigation is the highest level of investigation. Upon completion, the board will issue a report to the commandant of the Coast Guard with evidence, facts, conclusions and recommendations.

The Coast Guard's Kodiak station received a mayday call from the crab boat Scandies Rose on Dec. 31, and watchstanders launched aircraft crews to the vessel's last known position near Sutwik Island. Despite poor Gulf of Alaska weather conditions, the aircrews located two life rafts, including one raft with two survivors. The search for the Scandies Rose and five missing crewmembers was suspended on January 2.

While no official statements regarding the cause of the casualty have been issued, media discussion has centered on the marine forecast, which predicted heavy freezing spray in the region at the time of the sinking. Icing conditions have been cited in multiple previous crab boat sinkings and disappearances. 

During the course of the MBI, board members must decide:

  • The cause of the casualty, including the cause of any death;
  • Whether an act of misconduct, incompetence, negligence, unskillfulness, or willful violation of law contributed to the cause of the casualty or to a death involved in the casualty;
  • Whether there is evidence that an act subjecting the offender to a civil penalty under that laws of the United States has been committed;
  • Whether there is evidence that a criminal act under the laws of the United States has been committed;
  • Whether there is need for new laws or regulations to prevent the recurrence of the casualty.

The National Transportation Safety Board is participating alongside the Coast Guard in its investigation, and it will produce an independent report with its own findings.