The Coast Guard says its investigation of a 2009 fishing boat sinking that prompted criticism of the service’s slow response has concluded that a rapid loss of stability likely caused the vessel to capsize and sink.

The agency said in a statement released Friday night that its Marine Casualty Investigation found the “Patriot” capsized very suddenly, killing boat captain Matteo Russo and his father-in-law, John Orlando.

The Coast Guard says “we will probably never know exactly what happened” during the Jan. 3, 2009, sinking off Gloucester.

Russo’s wife alerted the Coast Guard after she was notified a fire alarm was sounding on the boat. But search and rescue boats were not launched for more two hours. Authorities say they didn’t receive a distress call and could not immediately determine the boat’s location.


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