US investigators Confirm Wreckage to be El Faro Ship

The National Transportation Safety Board has confirmed that the wreckage found this Saturday off the coast of the Bahamas at a depth of about 15,000 feet is that of the TOTE Maritime cargo ship El Faro, which disappeared along with its 33-member crew during a hurricane October 1st.

Authorities are continuing to survey the area and vessel, the Journal of Commerce reports. Investigators located the container/roll-on, roll-off ship — which was sailing from Jacksonville, Florida, to San Juan, Puerto Rico, when it was caught in Hurricane Joachin northeast of Crooked Island, Bahamas.

The vessel lost propulsion and had taken on water after the ship’s hull had been breached and a scuttle had blown open, the NTSB found.

Since the disappearance of the Jones Act vessel, at least four lawsuits have been filed on behalf of the families of the crew of the El Faro. The 40-year-old vessel was due to be replaced this fall by a new 3,100-TEU ship that burns liquefied natural gas.

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