Division of Spill Prevention and Response


Contact: Unified Command Public Affairs
Telephone: (907) 463-2863 or cell: (907) 321-1889

Unified Command Investigates Cause of LeConte Grounding

JUNEAU, Alaska - Coast Guard Marine Safety Office Juneau and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators interviewed four members of the LeConte watch crew last night as part of its ongoing investigation into the ferry's grounding on Cozian Reef. At approximately 9:55 a.m. on Monday, the LeConte struck the reef and evacuated 86 passengers to lifeboats.

The Coast Guard and NTSB jointly interviewed the following LeConte personnel who were on watch at the time of the grounding: Captain Harvey Williamson, Chief Mate William Petrich, Able Bodied Seaman Richard Burroughs and 1st Assistant Engineer Jeffrey Meehan.

All personnel have tested negative for alcohol. Drugs test results will not be available for at least two weeks.

The Alaska Marine Highway is cooperating fully and assisting with the investigation in the cause of the LeConte's grounding.

The Coast Guard is in possession of the Voyage Data Recorder, which contains navigation as well as radio transmission information.

The Coast Guard has also obtained statements from additional crewmembers and passengers in an effort to determine the cause of the grounding. Investigators have also collected additional information from the vessel to verify conditions onboard at the time of the incident.

Investigators reported that weather conditions were favorable for navigation on Monday and no mechanical failures have been identified.

The investigation into the cause of the grounding is ongoing. Conclusions detailing the cause of the incident will be released upon completion of the investigation.