NTSB releases new information on sinking of the ‘El Faro’

By: News Staff

news@abc6.com

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released new information Tuesday about the sinking of the “El Faro” cargo ship in 2015.

All 33 crew members on board were killed after the ship encountered Hurricane Joaquin, and now investigators are releasing the ship’s black box recordings.

The NTSB has been examining the ship’s audio recordings for the last four months. But it is the University of Rhode Island Inner Space Center that played a crucial part in finding the data recorders by using their cutting edge technology to locate the black boxes at the bottom of the Caribbean.

“It was an exciting moment for me. We had to scramble to come in and download the recordings and make sure the NTSB got all the information that they needed.”

Researchers from URI’s Inner Space Center played a small but crucial part in helping bring closure to the family of the “El Faro” victims. 33 crew members were killed when the cargo ship sunk in between Florida and Puerto Rico back in 2015.

Tuesday the NTSB released the ships data recordings detailing what happened on the “El Faro” bridge during its final moments.

“The captain seemed to think they would be south of the storm, wind would not be an issue and that the ship’s path should not change.”

It was no easy task finding and reviewing the hours of recording but thanks to Telepresence Technology, provided by URI, investigators were able to speed up parts of the process.

“It was programmed to do a mapping mission where it flies at a high altitude and gathers data. It does a very comprehensive map of the sea floor at a high resolution. That enables us to find targets and go down to get a better look,” said Dwight F. Coleman; Director of URI Inner Space Center.

The NTSB found the boxes in April and retrieved them in August have put in over 1,100 work hours transcribing and analyzing the 26 hours of recordings as they continued their in depth investigation.

“To have recovered the voice data recorder and transcribe the findings will help them in their investigation and really help to bring closure to the families of the victims who perished that day when the ship sank”

The NTSB released only factual information Tuesday, but still have a long way to go before they provide any analysis on their findings.

©WLNE-TV / ABC6 2016