ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Coast Guard officer heading the investigation into the deadly sinking of the commercial fishing boat Arctic Rose says he has considered options for getting a glimpse of the doomed boat now resting on the bottom of the Bering Sea.
''I would certainly love to see the vessel,'' said Capt. Ron Morris, who is stationed in New Orleans. ''We're kicking around ideas.''
The Arctic Rose sank mysteriously April 2 about 205 miles northwest of St. Paul Island. All 15 crewmen were lost, with only one body recovered, that of skipper Dave Rundall.
Raising or examining the boat would be difficult. For one thing, the Coast Guard doesn't know exactly where it sits, Morris said.
The 92-foot vessel is thought to lie under 400 feet of remote and chill water, near a seabed formation known as the Zhemchug Canyon.
''When a vessel sinks, it does strange things,'' Morris said. ''It doesn't go straight down.''
Rather, a sinking boat tends to sail and flutter its way down, meaning the boat could have landed some distance from its last position on the surface.
Still, the Arctic Rose probably could be located with sonar, and Morris said he has explored the possibly of looking at it with some sort of remote-operated vehicle equipped with a camera.
''Seeing it might not give us the answers. But it might rule out some things,'' Morris said. ''People need answers. Families need answers.''
With no survivors or witnesses to the sinking, or even any record of a distress call, the special Marine Board of Investigation looking into the sinking has a difficult job.
The panel's efforts have focused on talking to past crewmen, researching the boat's history, including alterations and maintenance, and mulling other ideas such as raising the boat or examining it underwater.
Board hearings into the tragedy begin June 12 in Seattle, where the boat was homeported. Those hearings could last up to three weeks, Morris said. Another round is tentatively slated for July 9 in Anchorage.
The board will eventually issue a report with its best ideas for what might have happened and how future sinkings could be prevented. The National Transportation Safety Board is doing a parallel investigation, Morris said.
In terms of lives lost, the Arctic Rose remains the worst fishing vessel tragedy in the U.S. Bering Sea since the early 1980s.
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