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Kodiak-Bound Vessel Lost 41 Years Ago Found

By | April 1, 2013

The FV Katmai is clearly identifiable even after 41-years on the bottom. USCG photo

The FV Katmai is clearly identifiable even after 41-years on the bottom. USCG photo

In February 1972 a Kodiak-bound fishing boat out of Mobile, Alabama, disappeared without a trace, taking all hands with it. Now, 41 years later, the Coast Guard announced that the fishing vessel Katmai has been found.

It was stumbled across by a Schmidt Ocean Institute survey of the ocean floor in December, while working for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The crew of the research vessel Falkor saw an unknown sonar blip about 200 miles offshore, but had no record of a sunken vessel in that spot. They sent a remote operating vehicle, or ROV, down to investigate, and there they found the Katmai in 9,000 of water in remarkably good shape.

The Coast Guard was notified and initiated a cold-case investigation.

What they determined was the Katmai departed Mobile, where it was constructed by Bender Ship Building, on February 18, 1972, and it never made its destination of Alaska, or even as far as the Panama Canal.

The Katmai had disappeared without a trace and was presumed sunk in the Gulf of Mexico. It was skippered by owner Oskar Joos, and had aboard his wife, their eight-year-old child, and crewman Clinton Hollevoet.

The Coast Guard has contacted the families of the victims and told them what happened to their loved ones.

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