Crew of Alaska Juris abandoned their sinking ship on a mild summer day: Coast Guard hearings begin

When Jonathan Jensen boarded the Alaska Juris last summer for his first stint at sea as a fishery observer, he learned early on that an alarm was supposed to sound should the crew ever need to evacuate. But on July 26, off Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, there was no such emergency signal — indeed, no electricity — as engine-room flooding cut the power and forced the crew to abandon the Washington-based factory trawler. Instead, he says the 46 crew members were forced to rely on word-of-mouth that they all were to assemble on deck, don survival suits and climb into life rafts. “The captain was doing his best to keep it lighthearted and us calm,” Jensen recalls. “He said, ‘When we get back on land, the first round is on me.’ ” Just what caused the flooding — and sinking — of the 229-foot Alaska Juris on a relatively calm summer day in the Bering Sea has not been determined, and will be investigated during two weeks of Coast Guard hearings that begin Monday in Seattle. Read the rest here 21:26