Coast Guard Suspends Search For El Faro Crew After 7-Day Search
By Space Coast Daily // October 8, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Coast Guard suspended the search for possible survivors from the cargo ship El Faro Wednesday, which is believed to have sunk during Hurricane Joaquin.
Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force, Air National Guard and tugboat crews searched more than 183,000 square nautical miles off the Bahamian coast in a joint effort to locate the El Faro crew.
The El Faro, a 790-foot roll on, roll off cargo ship, was en route to San Juan, Puerto Rico, from Jacksonville, Florida. At approximately 7:30 a.m. Thursday, Coast Guard watchstanders were notified the El Faro was disabled in the path of 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.
“I have come to a very difficult decision to suspend the search for the crew of the El Faro at sunset tonight. My deepest condolences go to the families, loved ones, and friends of the El Faro crew,” said Rear Adm. Scott Buschman, commander, Coast Guard 7th District.
“U.S. Coast Guard, U.S Navy, U.S. Air Force, and the Tote Maritime tug crews searched day and night, sometimes in perilous conditions with the hope of finding survivors in this tragic loss”
The Coast Guard located a deceased person in a survival suit in the water Sunday night.
A heavily damaged life boat with markings consistent with those on board the El Faro were also located Sunday.
Additional items located by search crews since Thursday include a partially submerged life raft, a survival suit, life jackets, life rings, cargo containers, Styrofoam, packaged food and an oil sheen.
Crew of the SS El Faro as provided by Tote Maritime:
|Louis Champa||Palm Coast, Florida|
|Roosevelt Clark||Jacksonville, Florida|
|Sylvester Crawford Jr.||Lawrenceville, Georgia|
|Michael Davidson||Windham, Maine|
|Brookie Davis||Jacksonville, Florida|
|Keith Griffin||Fort Myers, Florida|
|Frank Hamm||Jacksonville, Florida|
|Joe Hargrove||Orange Park, Florida|
|Carey Hatch||Jacksonville, Florida|
|Michael Holland||North Wilton, Maine|
|Jack Jackson||Jacksonville, Florida|
|Jackie Jones, Jr.||Jacksonville, Florida|
|Lonnie Jordan||Jacksonville, Florida|
|Mitchell Kuflik||Brooklyn, New York|
|Roan Lightfoot||Jacksonville Beach, Florida|
|Jeffrey Mathias||Kingston, Massachusetts|
|Dylan Meklin||Rockland, Maine|
|James Porter||Jacksonville, Florida|
|Richard Pusatere||Virginia Beach, Virginia|
|Theodore Quammie||Jacksonville, Florida|
|Danielle Randolph||Rockland, Massachusetts|
|Jeremie Riehm||Camden, Delaware|
|Lashawn Rivera||Jacksonville, Florida|
|Howard Schoenly||Cape Coral, Florida|
|Steven Shultz||Roan Mountain, Tennessee|
|German Solar-Cortes||Orlando, Florida|
|Anthony Thomas||Jacksonville, Florida|
|Mariette Wright||St. Augustine, Florida|
The following search-and-rescue units and crews assisted with the search:
- Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Florida HC-130 Hercules airplane crews
- Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Florida MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews
- Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina HC-130 Hercules airplane crews
- Coast Guard Cutter Northland, a 270-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, homeported in Key West, Florida
- Air Force Rescue Coordination Center
- Air National Guard HC-130 airplane crews from the 106th Rescue Wing, Westhampton Beach, New York
- Air Force WC-130 Super Hercules crews from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, 403rd Wing, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi
- Navy P-8 Poseidon airplane crews from Naval Air Station Jacksonville
- Air Force E-8C Joint Stars crews from the 116th Air Control Wing, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia
- Three commercial tugboats
For more information contact the Coast Guard 7th District public affairs office at 305-415-6683.