Coast Guards report on sinking of Seattle-based Katmai which killed 7 crew

The U.S. Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation will publish their report on the sinking of the Seattle-Based fishing vessel, Katmai, sometime next month. The Katmai had a crew of 11 on board when it sank on October 22, of 2008; 7 of the 11 crew members were killed and the 4 survivors were in the water 16 hours before they were rescued.

The Seattle Times was able to obtain the USCG report before it is published for the public and they provided their review of the report in a story entitled Report: Poor decision linked to 2008 AK sinking by Hal Bernton.

According to The Times’ article, the Coast Guard lists the following factors as attributing to the boating accident:

  • The Katmai was “excessively loaded”
  • An unsecured door
  • The “imprudent decision” by the Captain, Henry Blake, to push on despite the fact there was a major storm forecast. The article said that the weather fax with graphic images was not functioning so the captain did not have the information about the storm to base his decision.

The Coast Guard made the following recommendations. Some of these recommendations are also the same ones made after another Seattle-based vessel, the Arctic Rose, sank with the loss of 15 crew in 2001.

  • Mandatory training of fishing-boat captains
  • Mandatory inspections of fishing vessels
  • Improve crew training

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in boating and watercraft accidents and the family of those killed. We also represent the families of those killed because of the negligence of another including those killed in industrial or construction accidents.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. We have offices in Seattle and Bellevue to assist you.