Coast Guard: Missing Container Ship ‘Likely Sank’ As Search Continues For Missing Crew

By  //  October 6, 2015

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ABOVE VIDEO: Coast Guard search and rescue crews continue searching for possible survivors from the cargo ship El Faro Monday night, covering a total search area of more than 160,574 square nautical miles.

MIAMI, FLORIDA – Coast Guard search and rescue crews continue searching for possible survivors from the cargo ship El Faro Monday night, covering a total search area of more than 160,574 square nautical miles.

While searching in the vicinity of the ship’s last known position 35 nautical miles northeast of Crooked Islands, Bahamas, the Coast Guard located a deceased person in a survival suit in the water.

A heavily damaged life boat with markings consistent with those on board the El Faro was also located Sunday.

Additional items located by Coast Guard aircrews within a 225 square nautical mile search area include a partially submerged life raft, life jackets, life rings, cargo containers and an oil sheen Sunday.

Coast Guard search and rescue crews are searching for a container ship with 33 crewmembers aboard reported to be caught in Hurricane Joaquin, near Crooked Island, Bahamas.

The El Faro, a 735-foot ro-ro cargo ship, was en route to San Juan, Puerto Rico, from Jacksonville, Florida.

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At approximately 7:30 a.m. Thursday, watchstanders at the Coast Guard Atlantic Area command center in Portsmouth, Virginia, received an Inmarsat satellite notification stating the El Faro was beset by Hurricane Joaquin, had lost propulsion and had a 15-degree list.

The crew reported the ship had previously taken on water, but that all flooding had been contained.

Coast Guard assets involved in Monday’s search include:
• Two Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Florida
• Two Navy P-8 fixed wing airplanes
• One Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Florida
• Coast Guard Cutter Northland, a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Portsmouth, Virginia
• Coast Guard Cutter Resolute, a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in St. Petersburg, Florida
• Coast Guard Cutter Charles Sexton, a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported in Key West, Florida.
• Three commercial tugboats
• Sea and weather conditions during Monday’s search include one-foot seas and 15 knots winds with unrestricted visibility.

All three Coast Guard cutters will stay on scene and search through the night.


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