The National Transportation Safety Board has released its investigation report into the 2019 loss of the F/V Miss Annie after the fishing vessel struck a submerged wreck that had shifted from its previously known position.
Three crew members were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard after the incident on December 19, 2019, in Calibogue Sound, between Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and Tybee Island, Georgia. The vessel later broke apart. No pollution or injuries were reported, but the vessel was a total loss valued at $60,000.
Although unproven, the Miss Annie is thought to have struck the submerged wreck of the Miss Debbie, a 40-foot shrimp boat that sank during a storm in May 2017. On November 1, 2019, the owner of a yacht known as the Chanticleer also reported striking a “significant object” within a few hundred yards from where the Miss Debbie was known to have sunk. In the weeks following the Chanticleer incident, NOAA conducted a survey of the area, revealing a wreck submerged only about 4 feet below the surface at low tide.
“The Coast Guard had published a repeating hazard to navigation warning regarding a submerged wreck in the [Local Notice to Mariners], starting November 6, 2019, and NOAA had updated charts on November 12. Both updates noted the wreck in the area and gave an approximate position. However, the location was given was based on the last known position of the Miss Debbie wreck, which was more than 800 yards southwest from the location of the Miss Annie strike,” the NTSB wrote in the brief.
“It appears that the previously charted wreck of the Miss Debbie had moved to the northwest over the 2 years since its sinking and last charted position,” the NSTB added.
The NTSB brief did not make any safety recommendations. “However, the NTSB urged mariners to be alert for new hazards that can appear along their intended route. Mariners should adopt a process for identifying new hazards that are not marked on their paper or electronic chart system,” it said.
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