NTSB: Open doors likely cause of 2008 sinking

October 25, 2011 - 6:05 PM

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The National Transportation Safety Board says watertight doors left open on an overloaded fishing vessel during a storm was the probable cause for the ship's 2008 sinking off Alaska's Aleutian Islands.

The 93-foot vessel sank in October 2008 with a crew of 11 aboard. Four men survived in a life raft, and the bodies of five were recovered. Two crew members were never found.

The board, in findings released Tuesday, also found fault with the ship's master, saying his decisions to continue operations as the storm approached and to overload the ship contributed to the accident.

The board also says another contributing factor was the ship owner's failure to provide information on requirements for keeping the boat stable. The ship was owned by Seattle-based Katmai Fisheries, Inc.