When water first began flooding into the Alaska Juris on July 26, a network of bilge alarms should have unleashed a cacophony of sound to alert the crew that something was wrong.

“The siren can wake the dead. Anywhere on the vessel you can hear the alarm,” said Ben Eche, an electrician who did shore-side work on that alert system, in testimony Tuesday during Coast Guard hearings in Seattle into the sinking of the vessel. All 46 crew members survived.

But crew testified the alarm did not go off, a troubling development that prompted Coast Guard officials to question Eche about how the system operated.

Eche said he had tested the alarm system while the Alaska Juris was in port, and it worked properly.

 “I can’t explain why they didn’t hear anything,” Eche testified. 


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