Fennica: Uncharted shoal found

Written by Nick Blenkey
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JULY 29, 2015 — The icebreaker MV Fennica, which suffered damage to its hull on July 3, may have been damaged by a previously uncharted shoal. At the time, the ship was carrying the capping stack that Shell is required to deploy should a blow out occur during drilling operations in the Chukchi Sea in Alaska (see earlier story). The ship is now undergoing repairs at Vigor Industrial’s Portland, OR, shipyard.

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage marine casualty investigators have now sent their initial findings in the incident to the Coast Guard Investigations National Center of Expertise (NCOE) for analysis.

After completing its review, the NCOE will submit the information to the Coast Guard Headquarters Investigation Division personnel. Coast Guard Headquarters will review the findings and issue a final report about the incident after all of the evidence has been examined.

While Coast Guard marine casualty investigations are extremely thorough and may take several months to complete, the Coast Guard says that the following information can be shared:

  • The navigational charts found on board the Fennica were all up to date.
  • The Fennica’s draft at the time of the incident was 26.25 feet.
  • The Coast Guard issued a broadcast notice to mariners after a NOAA hydrographic survey revealed a (22.5ft + 3ft tide) uncharted shoal along Fennica’s track east of Hog Island.
  • The vessel’s Master, Mate, and Pilot onboard during the time of the casualty underwent DOT drug test. All results were negative.

Individuals who would like to submit a FOIA request to obtain copies of the final investigation results can do so by sending an email to: [email protected]

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