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Taki-Too disaster prompts 7 NTSB recommendations

JULY 5 - The National Transportation Safety Board issued its recommendations Tuesday following an investigation of a charter fishing vessel, Taki-Tooo, that capsized in June 2003 at the mouth of the Tillamook Bay, near Garibaldi, Ore.

In its report, the NTSB recommends that owners of small passenger vessels develop and implement go/no go policies based on the risks of transiting bars and inlets. It also recommends the Coast Guard require passengers and crewmembers of such vessels operating on the West Coast to wear life jackets while traveling through inlets in any area where “rough bar” warnings are in effect.

On June 14, 2003, Taki-Tooo, a 35-foot charter fishing vessel, was en route to the Pacific Ocean for a day of fishing. At the Tillamook Bay inlet, just after 7 a.m., Taki-Tooo crossed the bar, exited the inlet and was struck portside by a wave that capsized the boat. Eleven of the 19 passengers were killed.

The Coast Guard issued two “rough bar” warnings that day — one near the harbor, the other near the entrance to the bay. While recreational and uninspected commercial vessels were prohibited from the bar, Taki-Tooo was one of a number of charters that headed out into the 12- to 15-foot swells.

The NTSB’s recommendations are among seven contained in its final report. For a more detailed story on the NTSB findings, see the October issue of Soundings.

Jason Fell