Sub with camera to dive on sea wreck believed to be missing ship El Faro – CNN

Touching portraits of people presumed dead when El Faro went missing

Presumed dead

The El Faro 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 that the ship’s main propulsion failed, stranding the crew in the path of the Category 4 storm.

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.

For nearly a week, helicopters, planes, as well as Coast Guard and private ships scoured 1,000 square miles of surface for signs of the ship.

Deep sea search

The deep sea search for the El Faro’s wreckage and its towed locator pinger, or “black box” began over a week ago. After three days with no sign from a pinger, searchers on Wednesday let a sonar searcher into the water 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 about under the spot where the El Faro was last noted.

“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 located the wreckage at 1:36 pm ET during the fifth of 13 planned search line surveys.

Recorded call with captain

The 40-year-old U.S.-flagged El Faro never made it to Puerto Rico after it left Jacksonville, Florida.

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

Engineers were unable to get its main propulsion going again.


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