The U.S. Coast Guard has postponed the public hearing, part of the larger investigation into circumstances surrounding the sinking of the commercial fishing vessel (F/V) Scandies Rose and the loss of five of its seven crewmembers. The hearing was scheduled to take place in Seattle September 8-18, 2020. The decision to delay the public hearing was made to protect the health of the investigative team, the witnesses, and families and to comply with federal and state travel restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“The public hearing is a critical part of the Marine Board of Investigation (MBI) process, one that requires transparency. Those affected by this tragedy have the right to attend in person and, if we can’t afford them that, we owe them an alternative means,” said Cmdr. Greg Callaghan, MBI Chair. “The board will use this delay to evaluate alternatives, gather additional information, and continue the work of drafting a thorough and accurate report.”
A MBI is the highest level of investigation in the Coast Guard and the goal is to identify probable causes of the marine accident and recommendations to prevent future accidents. Upon completion of the investigation, the Board will issue a report to the Commandant with a timeline of events, the facts established, an analysis of probable causal factors, the Board’s conclusions, and safety recommendations. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is participating alongside the Coast Guard in its investigation, but will produce an independent report with its own findings.
The board has notified next of kin, interested parties, and the NTSB of the decision to delay the hearing until a later date. The board continues to work with the NTSB and other parties to identify and evaluate evidence. Some of the current areas of focus are weather conditions, vessel stability, survival equipment, crew experience and training, and the material condition of the vessel.
Investigators are asking for the public’s assistance in gathering any information regarding the vessel and the crew. All information is considered significant and beneficial. Information such as pictures, emails, texts, or other communications with any members of the Scandies Rose crew can be sent to ScandiesRoseMBI@uscg.mil.
Coast Guard Communication Detachment Kodiak overheard a mayday call from the F/V Scandies Rose on December 31, 2019 and launched aircraft crews in response to the mayday call. The aircrews located two life rafts with one raft containing two survivors. The search for F/V Scandies Rose and five missing crewmembers was suspended on January 2, 2020
Information related to this MBI will posted to the following website as it becomes available. https://www.news.uscg.mil/news-by-region/headquarters/scandies-rose/