>NTSB Report on Alaska Ranger

>The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducted a public meeting regarding the sinking of the fish processing vessel Alaska Ranger in the Bering Sea on March 23, 2008, and recently released a synopsis of the NTSB investigation.

NTSB’s synopsis states that the probable cause of the sinking was uncontrolled, progressive flooding due to a lack of internal watertight integrity and to a breach of the hull’s watertight envelope, likely caused by a physical rudder loss. Contributing to the loss of life was the vessel’s movement astern, which accelerated the flooding and caused the liferafts to swing out of reach of many crewmembers.

As a result of its investigation of the Alaska Ranger sinking, NTSB made two recommendations to the Coast Guard:
(1) Conduct refresher training for your marine inspectors and commercial fishing vessel examiners on the licensing and manning regulations that apply to commercial fishing industry vessels.
(2) Seek legislative authority to require that all commercial fishing vessels be inspected and certificated by the Coast Guard to ensure that the vessels provide an appropriate level of safety to those on board.

The NTSB also made safety recommendations to the National Marine Fisheries Service, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, and the Fishing Company of Alaska.

In a video released by the Coast Guard, Julio Morales, an Alaska Ranger survivor, tells his side of the story of the Alaska Ranger sinking. He recalls almost freezing to death as well as being rescued by the Coast Guard.