The missing bridge deck from the sunken cargo ship El Faro has been located, according to the latest update provided by the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
“The #ElFaro bridge deck located. Search is ongoing for the vessel data recorder,” NTSB said in a tweet.
As informed, the search teams on site continue searching for and recovering of the vessel’s data recorder, which is deemed crucial in determining what happened before the vessel went down.
NTSB said that the search 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.
However, the search had to be suspended temporarily due to Tropical Storm Kate off the Bahamas at the beginning of the week. The US Navy’s Fleet Ocean Tug USNS Apache redeployed the ORION sidescan sonar on November 10 to search for the missing deck bridge.
The navigation bridge and the deck below had separated from the cargo ship, while the rest of the wreck seems to have remained in a pretty preserved condition, as survey with a CURV 21, a deep ocean remotely operated vehicle, deployed from USNS Apache showed earlier on.
The wreck was confirmed to be found on October 31st at a depth of about 15,000 feet in the vicinity of the ship’s last known position. The vessel is oriented in an upright position with the stern buried in approximately 30 feet of sediment.
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