POULSBO — A sunken fishing boat, whose crew included a Poulsbo man, was found by a NOAA survey vessel searching the sea floor off St. George, Alaska, the U.S. Coast Guard reported July 20.
Two NOAA ships, en route to scientific missions in Alaskan waters, helped locate the missing fishing vessel Destination at the request of the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation. The Destination and its six crew members were lost Feb. 11 while fishing for snow crab northwest of St. George.
The Oscar Dyson, a NOAA fisheries survey vessel, conducted the first survey from April 30 to May 1. The Dyson used its multibeam echo sounder to search the area around the last known position of the Destination. While the ship was not able to positively identify any contacts, it did narrow the search area, the Coast Guard reported.
The Fairweather, a NOAA hydrographic survey vessel, conducted an additional survey July 8-9. The Fairweather used its multibeam sonar, designed for seafloor mapping and object detection, to locate the Destination in approximately 250 feet of water, the Coast Guard reported.
Larry O’Grady of Poulsbo, the Destination’s engineer, was one of six crew members who went down with the vessel.
With the wreckage and debris field located by NOAA ships, a U.S. Coast Guard dive team aboard Coast Guard Cutter Healy will use a remotely operated vehicle to investigate the wreckage later this month. Imagery from the ROV will provide visual confirmation of the wreck site and become part of the Coast Guard’s Marine Board of Investigation, which is scheduled to conduct public hearing Aug. 7-18 in Seattle.
“The Marine Board appreciates NOAA’s help in locating the wreckage of the F/V Destination,” said USCG Cmdr. Scott Muller said in an announcement of the vessel’s location. Muller is chairman of the Marine Board of Investigation.
“The vessel location is an instrumental piece of our investigation. We have a long partnership with NOAA to support the safety of those on the sea and appreciate their assistance in this and past investigations.”
Capt. Keith Roberts, commanding officer of NOAA’s Marine Operations Center — Pacific, added, “The crew and officers of Oscar Dyson and Fairweather were honored to assist the Coast Guard in this investigation. Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of those lost aboard the Destination.”