NTSB: El Faro Missing Its Navigation Bridge

The navigation bridge and the deck below have separated from the sunken El Faro cargo ship, which has been confirmed to be found at a depth of about 15,000 feet in the vicinity of the ship’s last known position, according to the latest update.

The subsequent survey of the wreckage with a CURV 21, a deep ocean remotely operated vehicle, deployed from USNS Apache determined that the vessel is oriented in an upright position with the stern buried in approximately 30 feet of sediment.

“The navigation bridge and the deck below have separated from the vessel and have not been located,” the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said.

According to the update, the search team has not yet located the voyage data recorder either.

“The team has reviewed sonar scans of the nearby debris field and has not identified any targets that have a high probability of being the missing navigation bridge structure,” NTSB adds.

Future plans are to redeploy the Orion side scan sonar system to generate a map of the debris field to locate the navigation bridge structure.

The NTSB is working on documentation of the vessel and the debris field and locating and recovering the voyage data recorder. Those operations are expected to take up to 15 days to complete in ideal conditions but could take longer depending on weather and conditions encountered during the documentation process.

The El Faro, a 735-foot ro-ro cargo ship owned by TOTE Maritime, carrying 33 crew members onboard was en route to San Juan, Puerto Rico, from Jacksonville, Florida when it sank on October 1st off the Bahamas.

The crew consisted of 28 U.S. citizens and five Polish nationals.

World Maritime News Staff

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