News release

Fatigue and unfamiliarity with safety issues led to 2012 collision between two fishing boats off La Push, Washington

Richmond, British Columbia, 21 January 2014 – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today released its investigation report (M12F0011) into the collision between the Canadian fishing vessel Viking Storm and the American fishing vessel Maverick 30 nautical miles off La Push, Washington.

On 28 September 2012, the Viking Storm collided with the Maverick in thick fog 30 nautical miles off La Push. The Maverick capsized and sank from the impact; 3 of the 4 crew members on board survived and were rescued by the Viking Storm. The fourthcrew member was never found and is presumed drowned.

The investigation found that the Maverick had been drifting overnight without a crew member on lookout duty. It also found that the mate of the Viking Storm,because of accumulated fatigue, had not maintained a proper watch by all available means and had left the wheelhouse unattended just prior to the collision. It also determined that the high-pressure sodium lights on the Viking Storm had impaired the vision and the ability of the deckhand on the Maverick to determine the vessel’s proximity and delayed his taking of evasive action. It finally noted that no sound signals were used by either vessel despite restricted visibility.

This accident illustrates how safety issues within the fishing community are complex and interrelated, as described in the TSB’s Safety issues Investigation (SII) into Fishing Safety in Canada (M09Z0001). It categorizes 10 significant safety issues, as well as complex relationships and interdependencies among them. In this accident, 6 of the 10 issues raised in the SII were at play. These were: fatigue, regulatory approach to safety, training, information distribution, cost of safety and unsafe work practices. Until the complex relationship and interdependency among safety issues within the fishing community is understood and addressed, the safety of fishermen will continue to be at risk, and remain on the TSB Safety Watchlist. The SII video can be found on the TSB website.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

For more information, contact:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Media Relations
Telephone: 819-994-8053