Marine Investigation Report M04N0086

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigated this occurrence for the purpose of advancing transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

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Capsizing and Loss of Life
Small Fishing Vessel Ryan's Commander
5 Nautical Miles East of Cape Bonavista
Newfoundland and Labrador
19 September 2004


On 19 September 2004, the small fishing vessel Ryan's Commander departed Bay de Verde, Newfoundland and Labrador, for a trip to its home port of St. Brendan's (Cottel Island), Newfoundland and Labrador. The trip was uneventful as the vessel proceeded on a northerly course with the wind and seas on the starboard bow. At approximately 1800 Newfoundland daylight time, the vessel was about seven nautical miles east-southeast of Cape Bonavista, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the course was altered toward the northwest. During the next 30 minutes, with the vessel running beam to gale-force winds and sea, it experienced three heavy rolls to port. It recovered from the first two; however, the third roll left the vessel on its beam-ends. A distress message was transmitted and the crew of six abandoned ship into an inflatable liferaft. One crew member was subsequently rescued from the liferaft by a search and rescue helicopter. The remaining five crew members were thrown from the liferaft into the water as it came ashore. Three survived; two did not.

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©  Minister of Public Works and Government Services 2006
    Cat. No. TU3-7/04-1E
    ISBN 0-662-44396-9