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Accident Investigations

Sinking of the Freight Vessel El Faro


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  • Accident No: DCA16MM001
  • Accident Type: Office of Marine Safety
  • Location: Crooked Island , Bahamas
  • Date: 10/1/2015

El Faro Docket
 
See the photos on Flickr
 
 

El Faro Status update 4/27/2016

The investigative team aboard the research vessel Atlantis who located the El Faro’s voyage data recorder Tuesday has determined it will not be possible to recover the VDR during the current mission.
 
Read the full press release >>

El Faro Status update 4/26/2016

The cargo ship El Faro’s voyage data recorder was located early Tuesday morning in 15,000 feet of water, about 41 miles (36 nautical miles) northeast of Acklins and Crooked Islands, Bahamas, by a team of investigators and scientists using remotely operated undersea search equipment.
 
Read the full press release >>

El Faro Status update 4/17/2016

The National Transportation Safety Board is set to resume its search April 18, 2016, for the vessel data recorder of the sunken El Faro cargo ship.

 

El Faro Status update 11/16/2015

NTSB Completes Documentation of Sunken Cargo Ship El Faro; Voyage Data Recorder Not Located

The video documentation of the cargo ship El Faro and the associated debris field has been completed but the vessel’s voyage data recorder was not located.

Read the full press release >>

 

El Faro Status update 11/1/2015

Wreckage found at bottom of ocean on 10/31 confirmed to be El Faro. Survey of area and vessel continues.

 

El Faro Status update 10/31/2015 - 9PM ET UPDATE

Wreckage of Cargo Ship Believed to be El Faro Located in More Than 15,000 Feet of Water

A search team on board the USNS Apache has found the wreckage of a vessel that they believe to be the cargo ship El Faro, which went missing on Oct. 1 during Hurricane Joaquin. The vessel was located at a depth of about 15,000 feet in the vicinity of the last known position.

Read the full press release >>

 

El Faro Status update 10/31/2015

The fourth of 13 side scan sonar search lines is ongoing with negative results so far.

The next scheduled update will be issued on this page between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 1.

 

El Faro Status update 10/30/2015

The third of 13 side scan sonar search lines has been completed with negative results.

The next scheduled update will be issued on this page between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31.

 

El Faro Status update 10/29/2015

The second of 13 side scan sonar search lines has been completed with negative results.

The next scheduled update will be issued on this page between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30.

 

El Faro Status update 10/28/2015

The first of 13 side scan sonar search lines has been completed with negative results. The second search line started today.

The next scheduled update will be issued on this page between 10 am and 2 pm on Thursday, Oct. 29.

 

El Faro Status update 10/27/2015

The United States Naval Ship (USNS) Apache arrived at the last known position of the El Faro on October 23rd, and began searching for the vessel with a Towed Pinger Locator (TPL).  The search area consists of a 10 nautical mile by 15 nautical mile area, in which the USNS Apache towed the TPL on 5 search lines across the search area in order to detect the acoustic signal associated with the El Faro’s pinger.  The USNS Apache concluded the first phase of the pinger locator search on October 26, 2015, with negative results.  The TPL’s ability to detect the El Faro’s pinger may be effected by the orientation of the vessel as it lays on the sea floor or the current condition and functionality of the El Faro’s pinger.  For more information on the TPL used to search for the El Faro’s pinger, please visit the following US Navy website: http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4300&tid=400&ct=4.

On October 27, 2015, the second phase of the search commenced using the Orion side-scan sonar system.  The second phase of the search will be conducted over the same search area. This phase will consist of 13 search tracks and will take approximately 14 days to complete.  The side scan sonar system will be used to locate the El Faro, and if found, create an image of the vessel.  For additional information regarding the Orion side-scan sonar system, please visit the following US Navy website at: http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4300&ct=4&tid=197.

The next scheduled update on the status of the search for El Faro will be issued on this page between 10 am and 2 pm on Wednesday, Oct. 28. The NTSB will tweet out a link to the next update as soon as it is issued.


 The National Transportation Safety Board launched a go-team to Jacksonville, Fla., to investigate the loss of the cargo ship El Faro, which was last heard from on October 1.

On 10/05/2015, the U.S. Coast Guard announced that the vessel, which was en route from Jacksonville, Fla., to San Juan, Puerto Rico, was lost in last week’s storm. The Coast Guard will participate in the NTSB’s investigation.

The team will be led by the NTSB’s Tom Roth-Roffy as investigator-in-charge. NTSB Vice Chairman Bella Dinh-Zarr accompanied the team and served as the principal spokesperson during the on-scene phase of the investigation.

Public Affairs Officer Peter Knudson will be on-scene in Jacksonville to coordinate media-related activities for the NTSB’s investigation. He can be reached at peter.knudson@ntsb.gov or by mobile phone (no text messages) at 202-314-6101.

Questions related to the search efforts should be directed to:
Coast Guard 7th District Public Affairs at (305) 415-6683.

The NTSB will announce the times and locations of media briefings in Jacksonville along with related information on the accident investigation on its twitter feed (@NTSB) #ElFaro.

Contact: NTSB Public Affairs
Peter Knudson
(202) 314-6100
peter.knudson@ntsb.gov