Marine Investigation Report M03M0077

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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Fire and Sinking
Small Fishing Vessel Silent Provider
off Petit-de-Grat, Nova Scotia
25 June 2003


At about 1700 Atlantic daylight time, on 25 June 2003, the fishing vessel Silent Provider left Canso, Nova Scotia, in fair weather and visibility, and headed for Petit-de-Grat, Nova Scotia. Approximately one hour later, smoke was seen coming from the engine room doorway. The fixed halon fire smothering system in the engine room was discharged, but did not appear to bring the fire under control. The crew broadcast a Mayday, then deployed the rigid liferaft, an Ovatek 4, into the water.

After donning their immersion suits, the two-member crew entered the water and attempted to board the rigid liferaft. When the first crew member entered the liferaft, a significant amount of water was shipped inside, and the liferaft rolled onto its side. Concerned about his safety, the crew member exited the liferaft. After several unsuccessful attempts to board and stabilize the craft, the crew decided to remain in the water and use the rigid liferaft as a flotation device.

Approximately one hour after abandoning the Silent Provider, the two crew members, suffering from mild hypothermia, were rescued by the fishing vessel Cape Ryan. The Silent Provider later burned to the waterline and sank.

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©Minister of Public Works and Government Services 2005
   Cat. No. TU3-7/03-1E
   ISBN 0-662-41152-8