OCTOBER 5, 2015—The U.S. Coast Guard is reporting that it has located a debris field of in the vicinity of the U.S.-flag containership El Faro’s last known position 35 nautical miles northeast of Crooked Islands, Bahamas. Life jackets, life rings, containers and an oil sheen were located by Coast Guard aircrews within a 225 square nautical mile search area. That debris has not been confirmed to be from the El Faro at this time.
Owned by Tote Maritime, the El Faro, departed Jacksonville, FL, Sept. 29, en route to San Juan, Puerto Rico. At about 7:30 a.m. Thursday, watchstanders at the Coast Guard Atlantic Area command center in Portsmouth, VA, received an Inmarsat satellite notification stating the El Faro was beset by 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.
The Coast Guard will hold a press briefing today at 10 a.m. at Coast Guard Air Station Miami to provide updated information on the search for the El Faro.