Katmai hearing reconvenes in Seattle

SEATTLE — The Marine Board of Investigation into the Oct. 22 sinking of the fishing vessel Katmai reconvened at the Jackson Federal Building here Wednesday.

Members of the board heard from several witnesses:

Isaac Vigil worked as an engineer aboard the Katmai in 2007. Vigil described various machinery aboard the Katmai and claimed to witness questionable methods used for repairing the vessel. He accused the owners of the Katmai of hiring incompetent welders and pointed out problems he experienced with water getting into the fish processing factory on board the vessel.

Sean Harrigan, captain of the fishing vessel Courageous which responded to the sinking, spoke about his experience fishing in Alaskan waters and of the weather conditions the day the Katmai sank.

Jeff Davis, captain of the fishing vessel Patricia Lee, described the types of safety training and equipment required aboard his vessel and other vessels similar to the Katmai. Davis also discussed the weather conditions for Oct. 22.

Lloyd Cannon, a co-owner of the Katmai, discussed the history of the vessel and the hiring of Henry Blake III, captain of the Katmai at the time of its sinking.

Robert Wood, another co-owner of the Katmai, discussed repairs done aboard the vessel as well as its history.

Henry Blake III, former captain of the Katmai, was recalled to testify about weather conditions the day the Katmai sank. Blake was also asked questions pertaining to possible pre-existing damage to the vessel and rafts used to abandon the boat.

In addition to collecting testimony, members of the board of investigation examined a raft recovered by crew members from the Courageous and a cod pot similar to those used aboard the Katmai.

The board will examine the evidence it has gathered and will reconvene at a future date. No date or location has been given for any future testimony.

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