Determination salvage underway

The Determination being slowly craned from the water.—Courtesy Mark Brown/Tow Boat U.S.

Tugs and crane barges went to work on the sunken squid boat Determination last Thursday in Woods Hole.

“There’s two cranes out there now,” Conrad Roy of Tucker Roy Marine Towing told The Times Thursday morning. “They’re raising it now.”

“They have commenced salvage on the Determination,” U.S. Coast Guard Officer Amanda Wyrick confirmed. The New Bedford tugboats Roy Boys and Sitka are working at the salvage scene off Penzance.

The Determination sank Friday, May 14, for reasons that haven’t been made clear. The Coast Guard hasn’t arrived at a determination on the sinking. 

Calls to Town Dock, a Rhode Island calamari corporation that counts the Determination as part of its fleet, were referred to Justin Hamilton, vice president of sales. Hamilton responded to a voicemail seeking comment by sending a release Town Dock issued May 15.

“One of the vessels in our affiliated fleet, F/V Determination, had an unintentional grounding yesterday and required assistance from the Coast Guard,” the release states. “We are grateful to report that the captain and all crew members are safely ashore and uninjured. We, and our affiliated companies are, and remain, committed to the safety of not only our own employees, but also the captains and crew members aboard our affiliated vessels. We express our sincere gratitude to our affiliated company, captain, and the crew of the vessel for their preparedness and adherence to safety protocols, and to the Coast Guard and other responders who all worked together to ensure that the captain and crew were returned safely ashore.”

Hamilton declined further comment beyond the statement. 

A vessel automatic identification system (AIS) track reviewed by The Times shows the Determination may have passed over Great Ledge in Woods Hole.

Falmouth harbormaster Gregg Fraser said his department has been monitoring the Determination since it sank. He declined to comment on what caused the vessel to sink.

When asked if Great Ledge was well marked, he said, “Very well marked.”

Generally speaking, he said, mariners can sometimes underestimate the “velocity” of the current in Woods Hole, and get pushed off course. 


  1. All photos courtesy of Captain Adam Willis of TowBoat US Falmouth who was first on scene after f/v determination Mayday call

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