SSA’s Katama in collision with lobster boat

In this file photo, the freight vessel Katama approaches the Vineyard Haven Steamship Authority terminal.

The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating a collision between the Steamship Authority freight boat Katama, Capt. Sean O’Connor, and a local lobster boat.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Connie Terrell said the collision was reported about 3:45 pm, Wednesday, December 21, about 1.5 miles off Martha’s Vineyard.

A statement released this morning, December 22, by Steamship Authority general manager Wayne Lamson described the collision this way:

“At approximately 1525 [3:25 pm, December 21], the M/V Katama was enroute to Woods Hole from Vineyard Haven on a westerly course with a flood tide near buoy 26 off Nobska Point. The M/V Katama crew observed a lobster style boat abaft the starboard beam approaching at a high speed headed in a southerly direction down Vineyard Sound.

“As the vessel approached from the starboard side, it appeared they would pass ahead of the Katama. The M/V Katama started to slow down and eventually was all stopped, sounding the danger signal and backing when the lobster boat struck the starboard side. The lobster boat glanced off the Katama and continued down Vineyard Sound.

“At no time did the lobster boat acknowledge any radio traffic from the Katama or stop to ensure the safety of both vessels. There were no injuries and no damage to the M/V Katama.

Katama’s Captain O’Connor reported the collision. The Coast Guard launched a helicopter to locate the lobster boat Mirage, of Vineyard Haven, but could not communicate with the vessel.

“The reason we couldn’t locate him was the damage to the lobster boat was the VHF antenna,” Ms. Terrell said. “There was no pollution, no injuries, and very little damage to the lobster boat.”

Vineyard Haven harbormaster Jay Wilbur said Mirage is owned and operated by commercial fisherman Glenn Pachico of Vineyard Haven.