A shrimp boat captain’s decision to continue a journey even though his ship had a hole in the hull was what caused the demise of Lady Damaris, a trawler that sank in the Gulf of Mexico in 2017. That determination by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was based on an investigation into the June 22 incident, which fortunately did not result in any injuries or fatalities.
According to the NTSB, the sinking in the Gulf of Mexico occurred a day after the crew had discovered a hole in the hull, which they were unable to effectively plug.
As water flooded the trawler’s engine room and freezer hold, the bilge pumps failed. The crew broadcast a distress call, and a US Coast Guard helicopter and small boat responded, along with a Good Samaritan vessel. Coast Guard personnel assisted the Lady Damaris’s crew in attempting to dewater the vessel, but they were unable to keep up with the flooding. The vessel was abandoned and sank soon thereafter.
About 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel and lube oil were released into the water. The Lady Damaris and its catch of bagged shrimp, valued at $210,000, were lost.