Months after fishing vessel Lady Cecelia sunk off the coast of Leadbetter Point, Washington, taking with it four of the men onboard, the Coast Guard Formal Board of Investigation is finally piecing together the suspected cause of the incident, reports Oregon news source The Daily Astorian.
After locating the wreck 317 feet underwater on September 9, the U.S. Coast Guard and underwater salvage and construction company FDS Marine International LLC sent a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) to survey the damage and help investigators determine what had taken the ship down on March 10.
According to Kurt Ward, a co-owner of FDS, the ROV became entangled in stray crab pot lines as it neared the ocean floor, damaging the vehicle's tether. A diver was sent to free the ROV from the equipment lines and cut three crab pot buoys and accompanying lines from the Lady Cecelia.
Ward told the source that he thinks the crab pot lines responsible for damaging his ROV were likely part of the reason the Lady Cecelia capsized and sunk.
"Anything's possible in the ocean," said Carol Henry of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
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