B2/1999M Trawler LEA, Sinking with Two Fishermen in the Gulf of Bothnia on 12.4.1999
Baltic herring trawlers LEA and NIPSU were trawling in the southern Bay of Bothnia. The fishermen did not arrive to their port at 12.4.1999 in the time they had informed earlier. Search and Rescue resulted next morning in finding the other trawler, NIPSU, at sea in full condition, engine running and lights on but no one onboard. The vessels had been working as pair trawlers, both manned with one fisherman. It is a practice to leave the other vessel drifting and then the other fisherman moves to the vessel which will take the catch. It was obvious that the other trawler had sunk.
In June 1999 local fishermen organised a search and found a wreck which was later identified to be the missing trawler LEA.
Later in summer 1999 the other fisherman was found dead in water in the archipelago of Kristiinankaupunki. The other fisherman has not been found.
Investigation shows that the accident occurred when hoisting the load of fish onboard. The vessel lost it’s stability, listed and caught water on deck in stern area. This resulted in increasing loss of stability and the vessel sunk rapidly.