Doomed El Faro's Recorder Found With Aid of Robot Sub

  • Cargo ship sank on Oct. 1 in hurricane and all 33 aboard died
  • Safety board restarted search for recorder on April 18

An underwater search has located a voice and data recorder that may provide clues about why a cargo ship sank last year off the U.S. East Coast in a hurricane.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which last year located the wreckage of the El Faro without finding the recorder, resumed the search with a robot submarine on April 18. It discovered the device at a depth of about 15,000 feet (4,572 meters), according to a NTSB statement released Tuesday.

The recorder will be used in NTSB and U.S. Coast Guard investigations, according to the safety board. It should have recorded the ship’s operators talking in the hours before the sinking and also stored navigational data.

The 790-foot container ship was heading from Jacksonville, Florida, to Puerto Rico when it encountered Hurricane Joaquin. All 33 aboard were lost.

The latest search, which was also designed to capture better photos of the wreckage to assist investigators, was conducted in partnership with the National Science Foundation and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

(Corrects that data recorder found, not recovered in April 26 story.)
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