The U.S. Coast Guard Formal Board of Investigation hearing into the sinking of the fishing vessel Lady Cecelia will reconvene at 8 a.m. Monday through Wednesday at Camp Rilea in Warrenton. The hearing is open to the public.
A driver’s license or other form of government-issued identification is required to gain entry to the front gate.
The Lady Cecelia sank March 10 in the Pacific Ocean off the Washington Coast, taking with it skipper Dave Nichols, 43, of Astoria; Jason Bjaranson, 38, of Warrenton; junior deckhand Luke Jensen, 22, of Ilwaco, Wash.; and fisheries observer Christopher Langel, 25, of Kaukauna, Wis.
After it received a hit from the boat’s Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, the Coast Guard assembled an extensive search party including planes, helicopters and boats from Sacramento, Calif., to Port Angeles, Wash. The agency located a debris field but no sign of the vessel or the men. Coast Guard investigators from Marine Safety Unit Portland have since worked with NOAA to determine a cause for the tragedy.
The Coast Guard and a maritime salvage company located the sunken fishing vessel Sept. 9 approximately 20 miles off Leadbetter Point near Willapa Bay, Wash. It concluded the first hearing to determine the cause of the sinking of the fishing vessel Lady Cecelia in April.
Investigating officers from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Portland listened to testimony from family and associates of the crew of the Lady Cecelia during the previous hearings. Witnesses gave testimony on the history and condition of the vessel along with recollections of the crew and their experience.
“We continue to gather evidence in this case and plan to use the testimony gathered during this hearing to determine what questions still need to be asked,” said Lt. Kimberly Rule, assistant senior investigating officer, about the April hearings.
“The Coast Guard is committed to examining the causes of the loss of the Lady Cecilia and her crew in order to pass on lessons learned and reduce the chances of future similar tragedies,” said Capt. Bruce Jones, commander of Coast Guard Sector Columbia River.
This story originally appeared in Daily Astorian.