NTSB to Launch Second Search for El Faro’s VDR

Feb 25, 2016 by Guest Writer

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said it would launch a second expedition to search for evidence in its investigation of the loss of the cargo ship El Faro, which sank in the Atlantic during a hurricane on Oct. 1, 2015. A key objective of the upcoming mission will be locate the missing voyage data recorder and to provide investigators with a more extensive and detailed survey of the shipwreck. The exact launch date is expected to begin in April and last about two weeks, although the exact launch date will be announced at a later date. “The voyage data recorder may hold vital information about the challenges encountered by the crew in trying to save the ship,” said NTSB Chairman Christopher A. Hart. “Getting that information could be very helpful to our investigation.” The 790-foot ship was located in about 15,000 feet of water near the Bahamas on Oct. 31. Over the following few weeks, the ship and the debris field were documented with a video camera mounted on a remotely operated vehicle. Video revealed that the navigation bridge structure and the deck below it had separated from the ship. The missing structure included the mast and its base where the VDR was mounted, yet neither the mast nor the VDR was found in the vicinity.