ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - following the year-and-a-half investigation into the fatal sinking the the Scandies Rose, the nationwide Transportation safety and security Board unanimously authorized the investigative team’s findings on the probable cause for that 2019 sinking ~ above Tuesday morning.

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On Dec. 31, 2019, the Scandies rose was travel southwest, west the Kodiak Island, yet sank in frigid waters close to Sutwik Island. Just two of the seven crew members made it through the wreckage. The other 5 were never ever found.

The NTSB claimed the vessel’s inaccurate security instructions caused a short margin of stability to stand up to capsizing. That merged with hefty lopsided ice accumulation due come wind and sea conditions, i beg your pardon were much more extreme than forecasted during the voyage, resulted in the vessel come sink close to Sutwik Island.

“Commercial fishing in 2019 to be not just one the the most deadly job in America, it to be the many deadly occupation in America,” said NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt during Tuesday morning’s video conference meeting. “Commercial fishing had actually a fatality rate of 145 fatalities per 100,000 full time employees. Compare that to the typical of every workers, i m sorry is 3.5 fatalities per 100,000.”


The plank highlighted 12 result the investigative team believed to have actually played a function in bring about the ship to capsize. The findings had had factors such together the ice buildup and also inaccurate stability instructions. Those findings additionally excluded several determinants from the incident, such together the captain’s decisions before departing, work pressures, fatigue as well as drug and also alcohol use.

In enhancement to the findings, the investigative team interviewed mariners as well.

Leading up to the plank meeting, the investigative team discovered that the Scandies rose experienced “bands the light, moderate and also heavy icing throughout the day prior to it capsized.”

After hours of freeze spray icing the vessel, among the making it through crew members that monitored the build-up of ice on the vessel thought about waking up the crew to break the ice and possibly an altering course and also speed, yet the captain chose otherwise because of the dangerous problems at sea.


After being relieved by the captain, the crew member provided the vessel’s pot stacks top top the main deck to be glazed over with ice, according to the findings. He observed an ext ice ~ above the starboard side pots, i beg your pardon he stated was estimated to be 2 inch thick.

Based on the localized weather conditions reported by the captain and crew, the vessel would have actually experienced ice build-up greater than 1.6 inches every hour, i beg your pardon is categorized extreme, within the last two hrs of the voyage, follow to the NTSB.

The investigative team said that at roughly 9:45 p.m. That night, the vessel rotate northwest toward Sutwik Island’s southerly bay looking for safety. After an altering course, an additional captain who called the Scandies rose captain that night said “he had actually never heard the level of tension in the voice the the Scandies rose captain before.”

Ten minute later, the Scandies climbed captain sent a mayday call to the U.S. Shore Guard, pinpointing the place of their ship.


The two survivors were external when castle were swept off the next of the vessel.

While floating in the water, they experienced the Scandies increased sink and also did not see anyone else gain off the vessel, follow to the investigation. Then they to be separated through the heavy winds and huge waves.

One that the survivors managed to discover an inflatable life raft that had immediately deployed ~ above the Scandies increased as she sank, follow to the investigation findings, i beg your pardon he was able to swim to and climb aboard. Once inside, he began yelling for his other crew member, that swam aboard several minutes later.

As the survivors make the efforts to continue to be afloat and also wait for help, a shore Guard rescue helicopter traveled toward the ship‘s last recognized location, according to the NTSB. It take it the rescue helicopter approximately 2 1/2 hours to finish the approximately 170-mile trip, i beg your pardon the flight commander said was “the most difficult flight the his career.”


After recovering the 2 survivors indigenous the water, the rescue helicopter returned to base. The crew members to be transported come an ambulance and also driven come a regional hospital to be treated because that hypothermia.

The shore Guard continued to find for the staying crew members throughout the day. In total, the shore Guard provided three helicopters, 2 C-130 airplanes and also a high-endurance cutter to search about 1,400 square miles close to Sutwik Island.

About 20 hours after receiving the mayday call and also after 16 hours of looking for the rest of the Scandies climbed crew, the shore Guard exposed search and also rescue operations.

“The Scandies rose didn’t capsize and sink because a crew member or the captain walk not carry out their jobs, or due to the fact that it had been poorly maintained,” Sumwalt said in his closeup of the door statement the the plank meeting. “It sank since its captain only had actually partial access to the details that he required to do the best decisions, and the details that he did have was inaccurate.”


The weather problems reported from the observation sites at the time of the accident suitable the gale-force problems forecast. However, approximately the accident time, the captain reported measure up winds of 60 come 70 knots with a helicopter rescue report 30-foot waves close to Sutwik Island.

Once the vessel changed course to starboard, toward Sutwik Island, the wind and seas were no longer supporting the vessel. ~ the course change, the vessel ultimately capsized because of the lopsided weight caused by ice accumulation.

“Based top top the voyage timeline and the estimated ice buildup over that period, the Scandies increased likely collected between 6 and 15 inch of ice cream on solutions disposed to wind and icing throughout the accident voyage,” a member that the investigative team said.

Following the investigation, the investigative team trust that due to the restricted service observation resources near Sutwik Island and also the Chidwick bay region, follow me the fishing vessel come Kodiak Harbor, the nationwide Weather organization cannot accurately forecast the more extreme localized weather and also sea problems for the area.


At the finish of the meeting, the NTSB recommended further studies on the destabilizing impacts of ice buildup on commercial fishing vessels.

A record of the NTSB board conference is available on the organization YouTube channel.

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Editor’s note: This short article has to be updated with added information. That was additionally updated to clarify the difference in between included and also excluded components in the investigation.


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