NTSB said the location of the VDR close to the mast and other obstructions meant it could be recovered using equipment on the current vessel that was used in the search for the recorder.
“Now that we have been able to see just how the VDR is oriented relative to the mast structure, it’s clear that we’re going to need specialized deep-water salvage recovery equipment in order to bring it up,” said Brian Curtis, Acting Director of the NTSB Office of Marine Safety. “Extracting a recorder capsule attached to a four-ton mast under 15,000 feet of water presents formidable challenges, but we’re going to do everything that is technically feasible to get that recorder into our lab.”
The VDR was located early on Tuesday morning. The El Faro sank on 1 October 2015 off the Bahamas with 33 crew onboard, during Hurricane Joaquin. Only one body was recovered by rescuers.