Marine Board of Investigation into Alaska Ranger sinking to continue Monday

SEATTLE – The Coast Guard (USCG) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Marine Board of Investigation into the March 23 sinking of the Alaska Ranger reconvened here today in the San Juan-Whidbey Room of the Red Lion Hotel at 1415 5th Ave.

The board heard testimony from David Craine, Dariusz Grzyb and William McGill. Today’s testimony will help to establish conditions aboard the Alaska Ranger prior to its sinking.

David Craine, the Fishing Company of Alaska’s (FCA) port engineer, provided ship’s blueprints of the Alaska Ranger and identified parts of the ship from photographs that were entered into evidence earlier in the hearing. Craine previously testified to repairs and modifications made to the vessel.

Dariusz Grzyb, an electrical engineer for Marine Electro, maintained alarms and safety systems on the Alaska Ranger. Grzyb spoke of the electrical systems aboard the vessel. According to his testimony, the systems were last tested in January. There was no installed emergency lighting system aboard the Alaska Ranger, but there were battery-operated lights around the ship for emergency situations.

William McGill, former captain and now operations manager for FCA, returned to give testimony on training and drug and alcohol programs in use by FCA aboard its vessels. He also described radio systems and equipment aboard the Alaska Ranger. McGill spoke highly of Capt. Peter Jacobsen who died in the incident that sank the Alaska Ranger saying he always had full confidence in Jacobsen’s abilities as a ship’s master.

The hearing will continue at 1 p.m. Monday at the same location, and is open to the public and the media.

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