The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has issued a report on the sinking of a scallop vessel off the coast of Nova Scotia in 2020.
The report, released on May 19th, 2021, concluded that the 47-metre commercial fishing vessel, named the ‘Atlantic Destiny’, sank due to a combination of hazardous weather conditions and a design flaw in the vessel’s hull.
The TSB investigation revealed that the vessel’s stern section was not properly reinforced to withstand the extreme wave heights and high winds experienced during the storm. The vessel had been operating for over 24 hours in these conditions when it suddenly heeled over and quickly sank.
The Atlantic Destiny had a crew of nine aboard when it sank. Eight of the crew members were rescued from life rafts by nearby vessels, and the ninth was recovered from the sea by the Royal Canadian Air Force.
The report also found that the vessel’s emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) was not activated at the time of the accident, which delayed the search and rescue operation.
The TSB report recommended that Transport Canada review the design standards for commercial fishing vessels, with particular emphasis on the reinforcement of the vessel’s stern section to ensure that these vessels can withstand extreme weather conditions.
The report concluded that the sinking of the Atlantic Destiny was a tragic reminder of the importance of ensuring that vessels are properly designed and maintained to ensure the safety of their crew.