Wreckage discovered of vanished Seattle-based ship ‘Destination'

From above, the profile of the vessel is clearly visible, including the bulbous bow to the right, the forward house and mast, equipment (likely crab pots) stacked amidships, the deck crane aft, and the skeg and rudder. (Credit: NOAA/USCG)

NOAA ships located the missing "Destination" fishing vessel, a Seattle-based boat, that disappeared in the Bering Sea in the winter – with a crew that’s declared legally dead.

Six members were on board the crabbing boat near St. George, Alaska in February. The U.S. Coast Guard at that time said the debris found in the search for the crabbing boat is consistent with a sunken vessel.

Over the spring, NOAA ships surveyed the area last known to the Destination with sonar to locate the missing ship in nearly 250 feet of water.

NOAA released 3D images on Thursday, showing the ship on the ocean floor.

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.

The loved ones of the six men on board identify them as Charles Glenn Jones, Larry O'Grady, Raymond Vincler, Darrik Seibold, Kai Hamik and Jeff Hathaway.

KIRO 7 talked to Larry O'Grady's wife shortly after the boat vanished.

"It's been the sit and wait game and it just tears you up. There's nothing you can do," said Gail O'Grady. "They have fished up there in terrible weather, but everybody knows their job. Everybody knows that safety first. Whatever happened, happened so fast, that nobody had any time, had any time to send out a Mayday or anything."

A memorial at Fishermen’s Terminal in Seattle was held in honor of the men. But community members reeled from the loss for months – like Keith Colburn, celebrity captain from “Deadliest Catch.

Colburn told KIRO Radio that he's lost many friends on the unforgiving Bering Sea but that doesn't make the disappearance of the Destination fishing vessel any less perplexing, or devastating.

“It’s a mystery is what it is,” Colburn said. “And this is not the first time that we’ve lost a vessel that literally just vanished.

“The only thing we can speculate is that something catastrophic gave way — a bulkhead gave way or something and flooded; maybe a weird wave and the vessel capsized instantly,” he added. “That’s all we can figure.”

Coast Guard leaders say that the discovery of the wreckage is an instrumental piece in their investigation. The Coast Guard’s Marine Board of Investigation will hold a public hearing in August.



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