Nfld. & Labrador

Hatch trouble led to Sea Gypsy deaths: TSB

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada says an unsecured hatch was most likely the cause of a tragedy at sea that killed two men in 2009.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada says an unsecured hatch was most likely the cause of a sinking off Newfoundland's east coat that killed two men. 

The 14-metre Sea Gypsy Enterprises sank 130 kilometres east of St. John's, in September 2009.

It was impossible to salvage the vessel for a full investigation, but TSB investigator Pierre Murray said the board's investigation has come to a conclusion.

"We believe that the vessel took on water through an unsecured hatch cover," said Murray

He said the Sea Gypsy sank after its stern compartment filled with water.

In the days following the tragedy, one crewmember questioned if overloading played a factor in the sinking.

Murray said that's still not clear.

"That vessel had been loaded in that manner before and made it back to port. Legally you really can't overload the vessel since there is no maximum loading line," said Murray.

Transport Canada is considering making it mandatory for fishing vessels to install alarms that would warn crews when there is too much water in a vessel's hull.

now