The U.S. Coast Guard is scheduled to conduct a formal hearing starting Monday, February 22, in Edmonds, Wash., to consider evidence related to the sinking of the fishing vessel Scandies Rose.
The hearing will take place at the Edmonds Center for the Arts, however due to Washington State COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, and out of an abundance of caution for the public, witnesses, and families, participation is limited and coordinated in advance. To ensure public access and participation, the hearing will be streamed live each day at https://livestream.com/uscginvestigations/events/9427626
The hearing sessions will also be archived on the website so the public can view them at a later time.
The formal hearing is scheduled to convene daily at 8 a.m. PST on weekdays, February 22 through March 5.
Maritime Commons, the Coast Guard blog for maritime professionals, will provide hearing updates at www.mariners.coastguard.blog and via Twitter @maritimecommons with the hashtag #ScandiesRoseMBI.
The hearing will focus on the conditions influencing the vessel prior to and at the time of the casualty. This will include weather, icing, fisheries, the Scandies Rose’s material condition, owner and operator organizational structures and culture, the regulatory compliance record of the vessel, and testimony from the survivors and others.
The 130-foot crab fishing vessel Scandies Rose, homeported in Dutch Harbor, sank near Sutwik Island, Alaska at approximately 10 p.m. on Dec 31, 2019, with seven crew members aboard. Two were rescued and five crewmembers were not recovered after a search that spanned over 20 hours, 1,400 square miles, and included four MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews, two HC-130 Hercules airplane crews, and crew aboard Coast Guard Cutter Mellon (WHEC 717).
The Coast Guard has established an email address for the public and interested parties to provide information, ask questions, and make comments related to the ongoing investigation and scheduled hearing. This email will be checked regularly and all correspondence will be acknowledged during the course of the hearing and throughout the investigation. The email address is: ScandiesRoseMBI@uscg.mil
The Scandies Rose accident was not the first such casualty in the winter Alaskan waters or in the commercial fishing community. To promote the safety of life and property at sea and in the interest of the public, the Coast Guard Deputy Commandant for Operations, convened a “Marine Board of Investigation” under 46 CFR 4.09-1. Investigations of marine casualties and accidents, and the analysis and conclusions made from them, identify appropriate recommendations to promote safety and prevent future marine tragedies.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is concurrently conducting an investigation of this marine accident and joins the Coast Guard in this fact-finding phase. The NTSB will analyze the facts to prepare and publish a separate report.
A formal Marine Board of Investigation is composed of a specially designated Marine Board Chairman. Several specialists and technical experts were also designated to assist the Board Chairman in this complex investigation.