Two research vessels have helped the Coast Guard to locate the missing fishing vessel Destination. The Destination and her six crew members were lost on February 11, 2017, while fishing for Opilio crab (snow crab) northwest of St. George, Alaska.
The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) ship Oscar Dyson, a fisheries survey vessel, conducted the first survey from April 30 through May 1. The Dyson used her 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.
NOAA hydrographic survey vessel Fairweather conducted a second survey on July 8 and 9. The Fairweather used her multibeam sonar, designed for seafloor mapping and object detection, to locate the Destination in approximately 250 feet of water.
With the wreckage and debris field located by NOAA ships, a U.S. Coast Guard 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 holds its public hearing August 7-18 in Seattle.
“The Marine Board appreciates NOAA’s help in locating the wreckage of the F/V Destination,” said Commander Scott Muller, U.S. Coast Guard, 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.”
“The crew and officers of Oscar Dyson and Fairweather were honored to assist the Coast Guard in this investigation,” said Captain Keith Roberts, NOAA Corps, commanding officer of NOAA’s Marine Operations Center – Pacific. “Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of those lost aboard the Destination.”