Faulty Autopilot, Empty Wheelhouse Led to Grounding off Georgia

A captain’s decision to turn on a recently-repaired autopilot and then leave the wheelhouse led to the grounding and sinking of a fishing vessel off Cumberland Island, Georgia, according to the NTSB. On June 7, two days before the casualty, the captain of the shrimp trawler F/V Sage Catherine Lane found that he couldn’t turn off the autopilot, and he had to unplug it to get back manual control. He tried to troubleshoot the issue,,, On June 9, 2021, the vessel was transiting outbound on the St. Marys River, making nine knots. The captain, who had 30 years of experience in commercial fishing. set the vessel’s autopilot, then answered a phone call and went below to his stateroom. >click to read< 18:25

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