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Investigation of the LeConte Grounding Continues
Preliminary findings released


May 19, 2004

Ketchikan, Alaska - After more than 8 days of intensive investigation, preliminary findings were released by the USCG Tuesday. The Coast Guard is reviewing crew and passengers statements, along with other information collected during the investigation into the grounding of the LeConte on 10 May 2004. According to the USCG investigation is proceeding well and cooperation has been good.

After more than 8 days of intensive investigation, the Coast Guard released the following preliminary findings:

  • Master Harvey Williamson and Chief Mate William Petrich were both on the bridge when the grounding occurred.
  • The LeConte was on a regular scheduled trip between Angoon and Sitka. Conditions during the voyage were good, with clear weather and calm seas.
  • Chief Mate William Petrich was conning the vessel when the decision was made to alter course for a route inside Otstoia Island. This decision was not pre-planned for the voyage.
  • After allowing a tug and barge to pass, the Chief Mate turned the ship without first checking the ship's position to determine the proper course.
  • The Master and Chief Mate did not see a fixed navigation aide marking the proper route past Cozian Reef. The LeConte passed on the wrong side of the aide and grounded on the reef at cruising speed. There were no mechanical problems on the LeConte that contributed to the grounding.


Source of News Release:

United States Coast Guard
Web Site


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