Yacht vs. Fishing Boat: The Latest on 2018 Fatal At-Sea Collision

It’s not yet known when the Coast Guard’s investigation of Attessa IV-Prowler crash will be complete.

SAN DIEGO—A mega-yacht and sport fisher boat collided in the middle of the open ocean, costing at least one person his life. Nearly six months has passed since Attessa IV and Prowler became entangled with each other near the U.S.-Mexico maritime border (west of San Diego) and we still don’t know details of what happened or who was at fault.

The Log reached out to the U.S. Coast Guard, via phone call, on a few occasions to determine whether there were any updates in the ­­Attessa IVProwler investigation. The line continuously rang each time, with no messaging option available, nor anyone answering on the other end. The Log also reached out to certain sources within the Coast Guard via email, attempting to discover any new information. We finally heard back from the military branch just before shipping this issue to press.

“The Attessa IV/Prowler investigation is still open and ongoing. Therefore, we cannot disclose the details of the case at this time. The details of the case cannot be release until the investigation is closed by our headquarters in Washington, D.C.,” LCDR Stefanie Hodgdon, chief of the San Diego Sector’s Investigation Division, told The Log in an email. “At this time, I do not have an anticipated date of completion and closure due to the nature and complexity of the incident.”

Prowler Sportfishing was also contacted, but, as of this issue’s press time, has not heard back from anyone associated with the fishing vessel.

Refresher Course

Here’s what happened on the fateful October 2018 evening (quite a bit of time has passed since the open water collision).

Anglers aboard Prowler were headed back to San Diego from an offshore fishing trip. At some point the sportfishing vessel was on a collision course with Attessa IV, which departed from San Diego and was heading south toward Mexico. The collision occurred about 9 miles west of Imperial Beach.

A Coast Guard response team, who arrived at the scene almost one hour after it learned of the collision, evacuated one injured passenger via helicopter and 17 others to shore via boat. There were 10 other passengers returned to San Diego aboard Attessa IV. All transported passengers, including the injured, were aboard Prowler. Those originally aboard Attessa IV (prior to the collision) remained aboard and returned to shore aboard the 332-foot yacht.

Prowler was salvaged and an investigation on the collision was set to begin. In the middle of the investigation, of course, was the federal government shutdown, which certainly caused a delay.

Status Updates

The Log will continue to reach out to both the Coast Guard and Prowler Sportfishing. Any updates shared by either or both parties will be published by The Log as soon as they are made available.

Photo: Fisherman’s Landing Facebook

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