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Federal agency plans to release more detail on El Faro sinking

Thursday, December 1st 2016

Federal agency plans to release more detail on El Faro sinking

The National Transportation Safety Board announced Wednesday, Nov. 30, its intent to open the docket Dec. 13, 2016, for its investigation into the sinking of the U.S. flagged cargo ship El Faro. The El Faro sank during Hurricane Joaquin in October 2015, and all 33 crewmembers aboard perished in the accident.

Five of the crew members were graduates of Maine Maritime Academy. The captain, 53-year-old Michael Davidson was from Wyndham; the others included 25-year-old Michael L. Holland of Wilton, 23-year-old Dylan O. Meklin of Rockland and 34-year-old Danielle L. Randolph of Rockland. A fifth crew member, 26-year-old Mitchell T. Kuflik of Brooklyn, New York, graduated from Maine Maritime Academy.

The ship's voyage data recorder was recovered from the ocean floor at a depth of about 15,000 feet, Aug. 8, 2016. A voyage data recorder group was convened Aug. 15, to audition the ship's VDR and to develop a detailed transcript of the sounds and discernible words captured on the El Faro's bridge audio. The docket will contain only factual information about weather, engineering, survival factors, and data from the El Faro’s voyage data recorder. The docket will also contain the detailed transcript from the voyage data recorder's audio recording. The public docket does not provide analysis, findings, recommendations or probable cause determinations, and as such, no conclusions about how or why an accident occurred should be drawn from the docket.

Providing the docket affords the public the opportunity to see what information has been gathered about the accident. Any analysis, findings, recommendations, or probable cause determinations related to the accident will be issued by the NTSB at a later date.

Caption for the photo above: The 6,400-pound remotely operated vehicle CURV-21 surfaces, as U.S. Navy SUPSALV and Phoenix International crewmembers prepare to bring the voyage data recorder capsule from the sunken El Faro aboard USNS Apache Aug. 8, 2016. (NTSB Photo by James Anderson)

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