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Accident Report Detail

Fire on board Fishing Vessel Northern Pride, with Subsequent Capsizing

Executive Summary

On the afternoon of April 21, 2015, a fire broke out in the forepeak machinery space on the uninspected fishing vessel Northern Pride while under way in the vicinity of Portlock Bank, Alaska. Smoke and fire spread quickly to the main cabin and wheelhouse, prompting the captain to broadcast a Mayday alert. The captain then ordered his crew to don their immersion suits and abandon ship into the vessel’s inflatable liferaft. A US Coast Guard helicopter responding to the emergency hoisted the crew aboard and transported them to Kodiak, Alaska. Shortly after the rescue, the Northern Pride capsized. The overturned vessel drifted northwest towards the Shakun Islets, and on May 7 its splintered hull washed ashore at Cape Chiniak within Katmai National Park. About 5,440 gallons of fuel, hydraulic, and lubricating oil were released to the sea. No injuries were reported. The vessel was declared a total loss valued at an estimated $425,000.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the loss of the commercial fishing vessel Northern Pride was a fire in the forepeak machinery space and flooding through the hull planking, which led to its capsizing. Contributing to the accident were the overall poor condition and maintenance of the vessel and the captain’s decision to get under way in a vessel with known deficiencies. Also contributing to the accident was the rapid spread of the fire in the wooden vessel due to the absence of machinery space fire-suppression systems and fire-protected subdivision bulkheads, neither of which were required for uninspected fishing vessels.

Accident Location:   , AK   Gulf of Alaska
Accident Date: 4/21/2015
Accident ID: DCA15LM020

Date Adopted: 8/12/2016
NTSB Number: MAB-16-12
NTIS Number:  

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