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Accident Report Detail

Marine Accident Brief: Grounding and Sinking of Commercial Fishing Vessel Titan

Executive Summary

​About 0215 Pacific standard time on December5, 2014, the commercial fishing vessel Titan was proceeding outbound on the Columbia River when it grounded at the southern end of Jetty A off Cape Disappointment, Ilwaco, Washington. The vessel sustained hull damage and began to flood. Efforts to dewater the Titan were unsuccessful, and the five crew members abandoned the vessel after a US Coast Guard motor lifeboat arrived on scene. The Titan remained partially afloat by the stern and sank the next day. None of the Titan’s five crewmembers were injured. The Titan and its catch, an estimated 40,000pounds of Dungeness crab, were declared a total loss. The vessel had an estimated 3,500gallons of diesel oil, 700gallons of hydraulic oil, and 400gallons of lube oil on board. Oil sheens were sighted after the vessel sank. The vessel was not salvaged or recovered.

Probable Cause

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the grounding and subsequent sinking of the Titan was the failure of the captain to monitor the vessel’s track as a result of falling asleep due to an accumulated sleep deficit after 4 days of continuous operations and the vessel owners’ lack of measures to mitigate crewmember fatigue. Contributing to the accident was the nature of the derby-style Dungeness fishery in the states of Washington and Oregon, which results in continuous fishing operations at the beginning of the season.

Accident Location: Cape Disappointment, Ilwaco , WA USA on the north side of the Columbia River bar, 46°15.8’ N, 124°02.3’ W
Accident Date: 12/5/2014
Accident ID: DCA15LM007

Date Adopted: 12/21/2015
NTSB Number: MAB1526
NTIS Number:  

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