An unusually large wave thwarted a fishing crew’s attempts to ride out heavy weather in the Bering Sea last year, according to a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation into the incident. No fatalities or injuries were reported when the commercial fishing vessel Progress was severely damaged north of Unimak Island, Alaska on January 26. However, the vessel sustained $1.3 million in damage.

The incident occurred when a large wave struck the vessel’s wheelhouse. Several windows were damaged by the force of the wave, and seawater ruined navigational and other electrical equipment and knocked out the vessel’s electrical power.

Fortunately, the five crewmembers were able to reestablish control and Good Samaritan vessels arrived on the scene and led the Progress back to Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

No pollution or injuries were reported.

The NTSB’s conclusion: Mother Nature was to blame. “The probable cause of the damage to fishing vessel Progress was an encounter with a considerably larger wave than those the vessel had been experiencing while hove to in gale-force conditions.”