Investigation Shifts in Capsizing

The National Transportation Safety Board has taken over from the U.S. Coast Guard.

Yachting

Northern Marine launch capsizing

The failed launch of the 90-foot motoryacht in Anacortes, Washington.Yachting

The National Transportation Safety Board has taken over the investigation of a capsizing that occurred May 18 in Anacortes, Washington, during the launch of a brand-new, 90-foot motoryacht.

"We're investigating it because it's a major marine casualty," which means estimated damage over $500,000, said NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss. At the time of the failed launch, the yacht was listed for sale on the brokerage market at $9.2 million.

The U.S. Coast Guard completed an initial investigation before handing the matter over to the NTSB, according to both agencies. The NTSB investigation is expected to take several months.

The capsized motoryacht was constructed by New World Yacht Builders doing business as Northern Marine. Northern Marine was founded in 1995 by Richard “Bud” LeMieux, who sold his controlling interest in 2006, according to multiple sources. In 2009, former Northern Marine employee Andy McDonald founded New World Yacht Builders, which leased the Northern Marine name along with equipment and other assets and has been doing business as Northern Marine.