Wreckage of El Faro believed to be have been located on sea bed

The US Navy has located what it believes to be the wreck of the El Faro 15,000 feet down on the seabed, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The wreckage was first detected what are believed to be images of the vessel using Orion, a side-scanning sonar system, on 31 October.

The El Faro is believed to have sunk, with 33 crew onboard, during Hurricane Joacquim. Rescuers have only recovered one body to date.

“The target identified by Orion is consistent with a 790-foot cargo ship, which from sonar images appears to be in an upright position and in one piece,” NTSB said.

A deep ocean remotely operated vehicle, CURV 21 will now be used to survey and confirm the identity of the wreckage.

“If the vessel is confirmed to be El Faro, CURVE-21, outfitted with a video camera will start the documentation of the vessel and the debris field and attempt to locate and recover the voyage data recorder,” NTSB said.

“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.”

Posted 1 November 2015

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Marcus Hand

Author Bio ▼

Editor, Seatrade Maritime News Marcus Hand is the editor of Seatrade Maritime News and a dedicated maritime journalist with nearly two decades of experience covering the shipping industry in Asia. In addition to running Seatrade's maritime and offshore news website based from Singapore he is the Asia Editor of Seatrade Maritime Review. Marcus is also an experienced industry commentator and has chaired many conferences and round tables. Prior to joining Seatrade at the beginning of 2010 Marcus worked for shipping industry journal Lloyd's List for a decade and previous to that the Singapore Business Times covering shipping and aviation.

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