Board weighs icy conditions, heavy pots in sinking of Seattle crab boat

SEATTLE -- Investigators are weighing icy conditions and heavy crab pots as they probe what caused a Seattle-based crab boat with six people aboard to sink in the Bering Sea.

The U.S. Coast Guard Marine board heard testimony from more than 30 people this month in Seattle as it determines a probable cause of the Feb. 11 sinking.

Our news partner The Seattle Times says it will eventually develop a report including recommendations to reduce the risks of such accidents.

The vessel Destination went missing off a remote Alaska island. Searchers found the signal device and buoys in a debris field, but no signs of its six crew members.

Related: Crew of TV’s ‘Deadliest Catch’ mourn loss of Seattle-based crab boat Destination

The board is considering freezing spray and whether the boat carried crab pots that exceeded weights used in stability and loading calculations.

An attorney representing the vessel's owner, Mike Barcott, said the vessel was not overloaded and complied with a stability booklet used to guide vessel loading under winter conditions.