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Container Ship El Faro Sinks; 33 Crew Members Feared Dead

Container Ship El Faro Sinks; 33 Crew Members Feared Dead

El Faro Maritime Lawyers
The container cargo ship, El Faro went missing and apparently sank in 15,000 feet of water in the Atlantic Ocean east of the Bahamas on October 1, 2015 during Hurricane Joaquin.

The 790 foot cargo ship was en route from Jacksonville, Florida to San Juan, Puerto Rico carrying a crew of thirty three including the Captain, Michael Davidson.

The U. S. Coast Guard searched for the ship for days finding only debris, the largest piece being one of the ship’s two lifeboats overturned, and spotted one body in a survival suit.  No survivors were found and no bodies were recovered.

The U. S. Coast Guard and the U. S. National Transportation Safety Board, NTSB, conducted separate investigations, and the results of both have not yet been released.

The NTSB, an independent federal agency, contracted with the U. S. Navy to try to locate the missing ship and if possible locate the voyage data recorder.

The NTSB issued a statement Sunday, November 1, 2015 stating that a search team aboard the USNS Apache using a sophisticiated scanning sonar had found the wreckage of a vessel believed to be the El Faro.

On Tuesday, November 3, 2015, the Navy confirmed that the wreckage was the El Faro.  Sonar images confirmed that the ship landed upright which could help crews recover the ship’s voyage recorder which could contain a wealth of information including audio from the bridge and comments from the Captain and others about the condition of the ship.

So far, about all that is known is that the El Faro’s Captain had called in before the ship disappeared that the ship had lost engine power, was listing and was taking on water.  The ship also sent out three separate distress signals.

The investigation continues (and so will this blog).

Maritime lawyer Gerald McGill is Board Certified in Admiralty and Maritime Law by the Florida Bar, and is licensed to practice in Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi.

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