Navy IDs wreckage as El Faro cargo ship – CNN

Stories of El Faro’s crew

Lashawn Rivera was a crew member aboard El Faro. His relative, Barry Young, told CNN affiliate WJXT on Sunday he was glad that the ship’s wreck may have been found.

“We’re just hoping for closure totally on this issue,” he said.

The NTSB has said that the CURV 21’s mission is expected to last 15 days under optimal conditions.

Presumed dead

The 40-year-old U.S.-flagged El Faro was headed to Puerto Rico from Jacksonville, Florida, and went missing near the Bahamas on October 1 with 33 people on board.

The owners of El Faro said the captain had a “sound plan” to avoid Hurricane Joaquin, but the ship’s main propulsion failed, stranding the crew in the path of the Category 4 storm.

Searching with keen eyes, technology, hope

The ship’s 28 American crew members and five Polish nationals are all presumed dead. One body was found during a Coast Guard search of the sea surface in the days after the ship disappeared.

Why was the ship so close to Hurricane Joaquin?

For nearly a week, helicopters, planes, as well as Coast Guard and private ships scoured the Atlantic Ocean for signs of the ship.

Deep-sea search

The deep-sea search for El Faro’s wreckage and its data recorder, or “black box,” began over a week ago. After three days with no sign from the box’s pinger signal, searchers on Wednesday used a sonar searcher to get impressions of the ocean bottom.

Again, no sign. Three days of searches passed. Then on Saturday, a breakthrough — a large object 2.8 miles down. And it was near the El Faro’s last known position.

How the Coast Guard searches for missing ships

“The target identified by Orion (side-scan radar) is consistent with a 790-foot cargo ship, which from sonar images appears to be in an upright position and in one piece,” the NTSB said.

The NTSB said the USNS Apache crew found the wreckage at 1:36 p.m. ET.

Recorded call with captain

In a recorded call, the ship’s captain reported a marine emergency early on October 1. Capt. Michael Davidson said the hull had been breached, a scuttle blown open, and water had entered El Faro.

Engineers were unable to get its main propulsion going again.


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