Post-deployment occurrence summary

Marine Transportation Safety Investigation M18A0185

This data-gathering investigation (class 5; see the Policy on Occurrence Classification) has now been completed.
The summary of it was released on 25 July 2018.

On 09 June 2018, the 13 m fishing vessel Forever Chasin' Tail, with 3 people on board, departed Beach Point, Prince Edward Island, to recover lobster traps approximately 14 nautical miles (nm) to the east. Later that morning, the 11 m fishing vessel Joel '98, with 5 people on board, also departed Beach Point to recover lobster traps approximately 6 nm to the south east. Weather conditions were favourable with clear skies, winds from the south-southwest at 5-10 knots, seas of less than 0.3 m and unlimited visibility.

After hauling and setting all of their traps, the master of the Forever Chasin' Tail set the automatic pilot to steer a westerly course toward the entrance to Beach Point Harbour. Meanwhile, the crew on the Joel '98 continued to haul and reset lobster traps in a generally northeast direction. They had just recovered the marker buoy on their next set of lobster traps on the starboard side and all attention was focused on this side of the vessel. As the buoy line was being recovered, the master of the Joel '98 saw the Forever Chasin' Tail heading directly toward the port side of the Joel '98. At about the same time, the crew on board the Forever Chasin' Tail saw the Joel '98 directly in front of them. With no time for either vessel to manoeuvre, the Forever Chasin' Tail collided with the Joel '98 4.8 nm east-northeast of Murray Head, PEI.

The Forever Chasin' Tail came to rest on top of the aft deck of the Joel '98. As the Joel '98 began to sink by the stern, 2 of its crew members and 1 passenger climbed on board the other vessel. The remaining crew member and passenger from the Joel '98 were found floating at the surface on the port side of the Forever Chasin' Tail as it floated free of the sinking vessel. The remaining crew member was pulled on board the Forever Chasin' Tail and the passenger was pulled on board another fishing vessel that had arrived on scene to assist. Both were taken to Beach Point where they were pronounced dead by first responders. The Joel '98 remained partly submerged for several hours and later sank while under tow by another fishing vessel. The Forever Chasin' Tail was undamaged.

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