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Witness Hearings Start Monday In Alaska Juris Investigation

U.S. Coast Guard District 17

Starting Monday, the U.S. Coast Guard is holding two weeks of public hearings as part of the investigation into the sinking of the F/V Alaska Juris.

The 220-foot factory trawler went down in the Bering Sea near Kiska Island in July, forcing 46 crewmembers to abandon ship in survival suits. Everyone was rescued, but the vessel itself was never recovered.

The public hearings will take place in Seattle, the former homeport of the Alaska Juris as well as the base of its owner, the Fishing Company of Alaska.

Investigators will interview witnesses in an effort to determine why the ship sunk.

"Witness testimonies are going to be really important for this case," said Lt. Rven Garcia, who leads the investigations division for Coast Guard Sector Anchorage. "So we can get an insight as to what the condition of the boat was and what the overall work climate of the boat was."

If investigators find the sinking was caused by human error or wrongdoing, the Coast Guard can impose fines or take action against mariners' credentials. 

The hearings begin Monday, Dec. 5 at 11:30 a.m. The Coast Guard is live-streaming them here. For more information on the schedule, click here.

Laura Kraegel reported for KUCB from 2016 until 2020. She was KUCB's news director starting in 2019. We are proud to have her back in the spring of 2023 filling in as an interim reporter for KUCB.
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