Unsealed Deck Plate Caused Sinking of Vineyard Harbormaster Boat

Marine Safety Consultants of Fairhaven, MA, have determined that the cause of the October 2 sinking of the Tisbury Harbormaster’s boat at the Owen Park docks in Vineyard Haven was the result of an “unsecured deck plate.”

“The cause of the sinking appears to be from bilge pump failure after water intrusion into the bilge through [an] unsecured deck access plate,” the report read in part.

Although the boat features a self-bailing cockpit, the deck access plate was left unsecured, allowing water to enter the bilge.

Repairs may exceed the boat’s insured value of $255,000.

Both of the boat’s 250-hp outboard engines were earlier ruled a total loss, as was the $15,000 worth of electronics.

The town bought the vessel in 2011 from Welded Boat Co. using a port security grant for a total purchase price of $265,126.