• DATVF.ATLPHL
    1.770
    0.058
    3.4%
  • DATVF.CHIATL
    2.143
    0.070
    3.4%
  • DATVF.DALLAX
    1.002
    0.012
    1.2%
  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.495
    -0.005
    -0.3%
  • DATVF.SEALAX
    0.985
    0.003
    0.3%
  • DATVF.PHLCHI
    1.069
    -0.085
    -7.4%
  • DATVF.LAXSEA
    2.044
    -0.092
    -4.3%
  • DATVF.VEU
    1.661
    0.015
    0.9%
  • DATVF.VNU
    1.475
    -0.008
    -0.5%
  • DATVF.VSU
    1.249
    0.004
    0.3%
  • DATVF.VWU
    1.515
    -0.044
    -2.8%
  • ITVI.USA
    9,403.520
    32.830
    0.4%
  • OTRI.USA
    7.120
    -0.280
    -3.8%
  • OTVI.USA
    9,401.280
    40.550
    0.4%
  • TLT.USA
    2.740
    -0.010
    -0.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    156.000
    -2.000
    -1.3%
  • DATVF.ATLPHL
    1.770
    0.058
    3.4%
  • DATVF.CHIATL
    2.143
    0.070
    3.4%
  • DATVF.DALLAX
    1.002
    0.012
    1.2%
  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.495
    -0.005
    -0.3%
  • DATVF.SEALAX
    0.985
    0.003
    0.3%
  • DATVF.PHLCHI
    1.069
    -0.085
    -7.4%
  • DATVF.LAXSEA
    2.044
    -0.092
    -4.3%
  • DATVF.VEU
    1.661
    0.015
    0.9%
  • DATVF.VNU
    1.475
    -0.008
    -0.5%
  • DATVF.VSU
    1.249
    0.004
    0.3%
  • DATVF.VWU
    1.515
    -0.044
    -2.8%
  • ITVI.USA
    9,403.520
    32.830
    0.4%
  • OTRI.USA
    7.120
    -0.280
    -3.8%
  • OTVI.USA
    9,401.280
    40.550
    0.4%
  • TLT.USA
    2.740
    -0.010
    -0.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    156.000
    -2.000
    -1.3%
American ShipperShippingTrade and Compliance

NTSB to gather data in Jacksonville for El Faro investigation

The U.S. Coast Guard and ship operator TOTE Maritime have scheduled press conferences for this afternoon to announce any new information on last week’s disappearance of the Florida-Puerto Rico cargo vessel.

   Investigators from the National Transportation Board will attempt to determine the probable cause of the El Faro casualty, said T. Bella Dinh-Zarr, vice chairman of the agency during a press conference Tuesday night.
   The El Faro, which operates in TOTE Maritime’s service between Jacksonville, Fla. and San Juan Puerto Rico, departed from Jacksonville on Tuesday last week and was last heard from Thursday as it neared the eye of Hurricane Joaquin.
   The Coast Guard said Monday it believes the ship has sunk, but has continued to search for survivors. During the search, the Coast Guard has found one body and numerous pieces of debris from the ship including a lifeboat, life raft, immersion suits and container doors. Some of the debris has been identified as coming from El Faro.
   Both the Coast Guard and TOTE have scheduled press conferences to announce any new findings Wednesday afternoon.
   NTSB investigators arrived in Jacksonville yesterday and expect to be there seven to 10 days collecting information about technical, engineering, operational, human, and survival factors.
   The agency will look at weather forecasts, the routing of the ship, and whether the ship should have remained in Jacksonville instead of sailing towards Puerto Rico when Joaquin was still a tropical storm, said Dinh-Zarr.
   The NTSB will lead the investigation, but will get help from the Coast Guard, who will also lead their own separate investigation and will remain in charge of the search and rescue efforts. The American Bureau of Shipping and TOTE will assist in the investigation, said Dinh-Zarr, who added the NTSB might use Navy and Coast Guard assets in their investigation.
   Dinh-Zarr said there is a “black box” type device on the ship, similar to those on aircraft, called a voyage data recorder (VDR) that is designed to send out a “ping” to help locate it after it comes into contact with water.
   There has been no “ping” heard, however, since communication was lost with the ship last Thursday as it neared the eye of Hurricane Joaquin, she added.
   Further, NTSB investigators currently do not know if they will be able to locate the ship, much less get down to it and extract the VDR.
   NTSB officials are in Jacksonville as part of a fact-finding investigation and will not issue any determinations of probably cause until after they return to Washington and analyze their findings.
   Dinh-Zarr said repeatedly they will “look at everything,” including communications, and e-mail correspondence.

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Chris Dupin

Chris Dupin has written about trade and transportation and other business subjects for a variety of publications before joining American Shipper and Freightwaves.
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