Coast Guard Releases New Report on Alaska Ranger Sinking

Anne Hillman, KUCB – Unalaska

The Coast Guard’s new report on the 2008 sinking of the Alaska Ranger says that the ship went down because of flooding in the rudder room likely caused by the vessel’s poor material condition. According to the Coast Guard, an analysis showed that problem stemmed from the Kort nozzle struts. The report says that the struts at the stern of the vessel created excessive local stresses where they were attached to a corroded area of the hull.

During a press conference in Seattle Wednesday, Captain John Nadeau, Chairman of the Marine Board of Investigation, said that it’s difficult to say if the accident could have been prevented.

Officials also noted that three of the ship’s engineers were not qualified to operate the vessel. The chief engineer and his assistant were not rated to run at 7,000 horsepower ship and the other assistant had no qualifications at all.

The 189-foot fish processing vessel was 130 miles west of Unalaska when it sank in the early hours of March 23, 2008. 42 of the 47 people on board were rescued by the Coast Guard and by the Alaska Ranger’s sister ship, the Alaska Warrior. Five people died in the incident and one of the bodies was never found.

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