F/V Majestic Blue sinks

Some here remember my adventure aboard the [I]Majestic Blue.[/I] The vessel sank this morning. Captain David Hill, who relieved me, is missing along with the C/E. SAR is in progress on the scene.

Subject: F/V MAJESTIC BLUE (US) - Sunk - South Pacific
> The Fishing Vessel (F/V) MAJESTIC BLUE sank in the South Pacific Ocean
> during the early morning hours today due to an unknown cause. 22 crew
> were rescued and are reported to be in stable condition. Two crew (master
> and chief engineer) remain missing. Search efforts are ongoing.
> At 140253Z CCGD14 received a relay from CCGLANTAREA regarding
> investigation of a 406 EPIRB distress alert and determined that the F/V
> MAJESTIC BLUE/WDE4888 (US) was sinking/sunk, due to an unknown cause, in a
> position approximately 180NM south of the Rescue Coordination Center (RCC)
> Honolulu SAR boundary, in the RCC Fiji AOR. Twenty four (24) people on
> board (pob) reportedly abandoned ship into a shipboard life raft; however,
> later reports identified that two men are missing: the Captain, who is a
> U.S. citizen, (Master David K. Hill) and the Chief Engineer, who is Korean
> approximately 70NM away at the time of the distress alert (approx 6.5
> hours transit), immediately diverted en route to effect rescue. RCC Fiji
> assumed SAR Mission Coordinator (SMC) with notification and communications
> relay with USCG Sector Guam (Vessel homeport is Guam).
> 22 remaining crew members were picked up by the F/V PACIFIC BREEZE (US),
> including 9 other Korean survivors.
> RCC Fiji is the SMC. The U.S. Coast Guard has been assisting the
> government of Fiji in conducting a search for the two missing persons.
> D14 is sending a C‐130 from Air Station Barber’s Point and will be on
> scene at first light. Three additional sister fishing vessels are en
> route. Once the first vessel arrives at approximately 1900Z, PACIFIC
> BREEZE will depart the scene with the survivors for either Guam or Fiji.
> USCG National Command Center and Pacific Command Center will continue to
> monitor and provide updates.

Sorry to hear this. I know that there were a couple on there you got along with. And the loss of any vessel is a sad event.

Thanks Doug, I hope they find them okay…

DATE: June 14, 2010 17:59:36 HST
U.S. Coast Guard aircrew diverts to conduct second search, rescue in less than 24 hours
HONOLULU —A U.S. Coast Guard aircrew from Air Station Barbers Point diverted an HC-130 Hercules aircraft to assist in a search for two mariners that went missing 925 miles northwest of American Samoa, Monday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center received a report at 11 a.m. Sunday, concerning the distressed crew of the fishing vessel Majestic Blue. The reporting source aboard the sister ship Pacific Breeze claimed that the Majestic Blue sank and they rescued 22 fishermen of the 24-man crew.

No injuries have been reported.

The crewmembers aboard the HC-130 is the same rescue team that took part in a 1,800 nautical mile search Sunday for a mariner who went missing after being separated from his fishing party.

The cause of the Majestic Blue’s sinking is currently under investigation.

For more information, please contact Petty Officer 3rd Class Angela Henderson at 808-535-3230.

I just would like to add that I may have taken one of the last photos of the vessel when she was moored up in Apra Harbor, Guam on the 18th of May.

The photo is posted here.

It’s always just horrible to hear about something like this happening.

I really hope they find the captain and chief engineer. Although I never met them or even saw the Majestic Blue up close, I talked to a few of the other captains by email a lot and feel like I knew some of them over there. Thank god for Capt Ed and his crew on the Pacific Breeze who rescued the crew of the Majestic Blue and hope the people looking now will find the missing men soon!
Sure would like to know what the hell happened!! The ship just got out of the shipyard in China!

[QUOTE=JP;36369]The ship just got out of the shipyard in China![/QUOTE]

Maybe that was the problem!

“Going down with the ship” and “conspiracy theories” not withstanding, it seems “odd” that the only crew missing are the Capt and ChEng.

I spent 90 days on that boat and I agree, it is odd.

I am sorry to report that the search for Capt. David Hill and the Chief Engineer of the F/V Majestic Blue has been officially called off. The survivors are being taken to Honiara, Solomon Islands where they will be interviewed by USCG investigators before being repatriated. Capt. Hill was leaves a wife and four children and was a gCaptain forum member. An college account is being set up, and I will post details when available.

David has 4 children. His two oldest children live in Washington State and are grieving.

My apologies for the incorrect information.

David hailed from the Northwest, and spent some time working on the Washington State Ferries among others before heading for Florida.

My most sincere condolences to the families and friends of Captain David Hill and Chief Engineer Yang Changcehol Rok.

Yet shall the poor sailor find pleasant weather,
When He, who all commands,
Shall give, to call life’s crew together,
The word to pipe all hands.

`adapted from Tom Bowling by Charles Dibdin

> The boat sunk around 13:40 LT and the Pacific Breeze which had a
> rendezvous with
> Majestic Blue just the morning before received the call and was
> about 90NM away
> from Majestic Blue’s sinking position.The last message from the
> vessel stated that all
> crew were in the skiff . Captain David of course was on the bridge
> at that time to make
> the distress call .The crew than called him to get in to the skiff
> so they can get free
> of the MAB .He than started to proceed in to the vessels internals
> .The C/E reportedly
> left the skiff to get the Captain .Than the MAB turned on to her
> stbd side and sunk
> rather fast reportedly . Every one of course , who was not on the
> skiff, thought all
> 24 crew were on the skiff .Pacific proceeded towards the sinking
> location and had about
> 20:00hrs contact by VHF with the skiff and heard that only 22 men
> were aboard.
> This was confirmed an hour later when the PAB reached the skiff and
> found indeed
> only 22 men aboard. It was already night than . I had alerted the
> USCG immediately
> after receiving the info that the boat was sinking . I also ordered
> that no moves should
> take place during the night as Capt.Ed reported pitch black
> conditions which would
> have made it impossible to see any one in the water and one may
> have gotten run over
> by the boat. Ocean Master,Lady Marion and Cosmos Kim were in the
> area and were asked
> to proceed to the sinking side where they arrived the next morning
> >Immediately
> after day break the search for the 2 missing men commenced with
> all boats taking part
> and also the Ocean masters Helicopter .Capt Ed Ratigan was put in
> charge as local
> coordinator and did a great job. The USCG had given the command for
> the operation to
> the Suva Rescue Center which is Fiji Navy . A USCG C130 came too
> but had only 10minutes of fuel to remain over the site .The area was
> searched over and over by the boats and the Chopper and nothing was found
> (6-15-10) The skiff and EPIRB had deployed
> and were floating in the field of debris . Search lasted from day
> break until night fall.
> 6-16-10 was an other full day of searching and this time the USCG
> C-130 remained for
> over 6 hrs on location too .Again nothing was found. Lady Marion
> and Cosmos Kim
> were released as no longer needed as the area was too crowded .On
> 6-17-10 the
> SAR operation commenced again at sunrise and the two Seiners and
> the helicopter
> and the USCG C-130 searched with the 130 remaining over 3 hours on
> location .
> Nothing was found again.There also was no oil slick as common when
> boats sink !
> at 06:45 Zulu (GMT) orders from the Rescue center in Suva were to
> discontinue the
> search as nothing was found even remotely suggesting that the two
> missing men
> made it out of the boat.As a matter of fact not much in way of
> internal located
> items were floating on the surface .All parties agreed that the two
> men had gone down
> with the boat ! This search was one of the most intensive I have
> experienced and nothing
> was found . Both ,the Captain and the C/E must be presumed dead as
> otherwise they would have been found already on the first date as every
> search quadrand had been
> checked many times over and over again. Both vessel departed the
> sinking site 6-17-10
> in the late evening hours .
> May the souls of the missing men rest in peace and may our prayers
> lift them up to
> the large Purse seiner in the skies .
> Capt.David leaves a wife and one 2 year old daughter behind . The
> C/E as far as I was informed was married but maybe had no children (He was
> Korean)
> Capt Jurgen
> Unterberg,Ph.D.
> General Manager
> , Majestic Blue Fisheries ,LLC

Nice to see this post but wondering where Capt Anonymous found the post from Capt Jurgen. I’m pretty sure he doesn;t hang around here.
I am so sorry for the families of the Captain and Chief.
I really hope they find out what caused the Majestic Blue to sink and hopefully will prevent anything like that happening to the Pacific Breeze or any of the other boats out there.
Capt Jill
(former capt of Pacific Breeze)

David Hill also leaves behind two children living in Seattle.

OK, now I’m not genius, but even I can figure out with just a couple keystrokes of searching that there are some issues with the Majestic Blue company and the USCG, right? And if what I’ve read is even only partly true, it sounds like some of the American captains on the boat weren’t getting heard by the boat’s Korean fish master, right? Like big time issues between them, to the point where I think I read on a blog somewhere that the Korean fish master even physically assaulted one of the captains, right? OK, so with that context in place, read Captain Jurgen’s email again and then ask yourself these questions:
If you were captain and all of your crew were in the skiff, if you were physically able, wouldn’t you get the hell off the boat and into the skiff, too? And would you, as captain, wait for the crew to call you to get in the skiff? OK, so if you were captain and all of your crew were in the skiff and for some reason you didn’t immediately jump off the boat and into the skiff, how would anyone on the skiff know that you ‘proceed in to the vessels internals’? Why would he say that? Why wouldn’t he just say that the captain didn’t get off the boat? Why elaborate unless you were trying to limit your company’s liability? And the bit about the distress call has me a little cynical, again, about Captain Jurgen’s ‘account’. I’m betting that like any good sailor, if Captain Hill was physically able to make the distress call, then he did so at the same time that he was getting his crew off the ship. No need to stay onboard to ‘make the call’. Grab the EPIRB, the GMDSS handhelds, the SARTs and go.
Bottom line, I’m suspicious. Now, I’m not saying conspiracy theory or that the Majestic Blue company wanted to just get rid of their USCG problems the old fashioned way, but Captain Hill had a good reputation and I’m just having a hard time putting what I know of him with what I read in Captain Jurgen’s email.

The Coast Guard has begun an investigation of the sinking of the “Majestic Blue.” That report will probably be completed in 2-3 months. Until such time, all speculation is idle.

Actually, it is worse than idle: Captain Hill’s survivors have watched this blog in hopes of obtaining additional information duringthe critical period of the search. Remarks raising thoughts of “conspiracy” or that “the Majestic Blue company wanted to get rid of their USCG problems the old fashioned way” must be painful to his family to the point of cruelty.

Perhaps we could keep tightly to what is known in this matter?

[B]Captain dies when ship goes down in South Pacific[/B]

                                             Capt. Hill with his 2-year-old daughter Quinn.

By Franki Black
June 22, 2010

<!–/#byline–> <!-- google_ad_section_start -->At midnight on June 16, Capt. David K. Hill was declared missing at sea and presumed dead after the commercial fishing vessel he was in command of sank in the South Pacific ocean. He was 54 years old.
Capt. Hill had been in the yachting industry for more than 15 years, in command of several large yachts, including the 150-foot Trinity M/Y [I]Utopia 3[/I], the 102-foot Broward M/Y [I]C’est La Vie[/I], and the 78-foot Burger M/Y [I]Neon Rainbow[/I]. During the economic recession last year, he turned to the commercial industry to keep working.
His wife, Amy Hill, described her husband as an avid sailor who covered many regions ranging from the South Pacific to Alaska to the Mediterranean. She also mentioned how proud he was of his son, Spencer, who is about to go on a NOAA vessel as an engineering intern.
“David was the kind of man who would go out of his way to help others,” said Capt. Mark Balentine, a close friend of Capt. Hill. “I will always remember the image of Dave, a big man who looked like Sean Connery, walking hand-in-hand with his 2-year-old daughter. When Dave was not at sea, he spent all his time with his daughter and wife.”
Another close family friend, Capt. Kelly Esser of Cape Ann Towing in Ft. Lauderdale, described Hill as a kind-hearted and humble man who never met a stranger.
“David was the kind of person who would help you at the drop of a hat,” Esser said. “We often met at the [Lauderdale Isles Yacht and Tennis Club] and David was known for having many friends and for being a very social person.”
As a captain, Esser described him as cool, calm and collected.
“David has been in the maritime industry his whole life and the ocean was his passion.
Balentine said that Capt. Hill spoke to his wife and daughter the day before the incident and everything seemed well under way. They had no idea what the next day will bring.
Two weeks before the fateful day that ended in tragedy, Capt. Hill and his crew of 23 set sail from the Fiji Islands into the South Pacific on a commercial fishing vessel called [I]Majestic Blue[/I]. Esser said that the vessel had undergone inspection in Guam and Capt. Hill was ready to begin a three-month stint catching tuna under a StarKist Tuna contract.
According to crew reports, the engine room started taking on water early on the morning of June 14. It was still dark outside. Capt. Hill, the only American aboard, gave orders to his crew to abandon ship and ready themselves on the shipboard life raft.
In the mean time, Capt. Hill was in the wheelhouse sending out emergency signals and Mayday calls, ensuring the safety of his crew.
Crew have told investigators that once they were all on the lifeboat, the chief engineer stepped back onto the sinking vessel and headed to the wheelhouse to inform Capt. Hill the crew were ready. That was the last they saw of the chief engineer and Capt. Hill. According to a report by Capt. Jurgen of Majestic Blue Fisheries, the vessel rolled over onto its starboard side and sank.
The U.S. Coast Guard reported that Capt. Hill’s emergency signals reached F/V [I]Pacific Breeze[/I], sister ship of F/V [I]Majestic Blue[/I], which was about 70 nautical miles away at the time. Within hours, she came to the rescue of the remaining 22 crew members.
Capt. Ed Ratigan of F/V [I]Pacific Breeze[/I] took regional charge of the situation, coordinating the efforts of three additional fishing vessels and a helicopter that came to assist. The USCG sent a C-130 from Air Station Barber’s Point in Hawaii to the scene of the accident.
Four fishing vessels, the USCG and the Fijian navy searched for two days for the missing men. On June 16, two days after the incident, the search was officially called off. It is presumed that Capt. Hill and the chief engineer, a Korean man named Yang Changcheol, went down with the ship. The ship’s EPIRB was found floating among the debris.
“It was one of the most intensive searches I’ve experienced and nothing was found,” Jurgen said.
The crew reported excellent weather conditions on the day of the incident and, at this stage, the cause of the accident is reported as unknown.
Capt. Hill is survived by his partner and wife of 17 years and their 2-year-old daughter, Quinn Bronwyn. Capt. Hill also has a son, Spencer Hill, and daughter Thea Hill from a previous marriage.
A memorial service – which will really be more of a celebration of his life, Esser said – will take place July 8 at 7 p.m. at the Lauderdale Isles Yacht and Tennis Club in Ft. Lauderdale. Capt. Hill’s family and friends are setting up a college fund for Quinn. Details will appear with this story as they come available.

A 529 College Savings Account for 2 year old Quinn Hill has been established at Wells Fargo Advisors.

 Contributions can be made  as follows:  

    “Amy Hill fbo Quinn Hill  529 Plan”

c/o Wells Fargo Advisors
901 East Las Olas Ave, Suite 101
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

There will be a memorial  service/celebration of Captain Hill's life on the 8th of July at 7pm at  the Lauderdale Isles Yacht Club.

For information please contact Captain Mark Balentine via email or phone 561-762-4838.