The captain’s mistake was the cause of the crash of the American cargo vessel El Faro near the Bahamas in October 2015, which killed 33 people. This is stated in a report published on Sunday by the US Coast Guard.
The document notes that the incident was “one of the worst catastrophes at sea in US history,” leading to “the largest number of victims in almost 40 years with the flooding of US commercial vessels.” According to Coast Guard specialists, Capt. Michael Davidson underestimated the strength of Hurricane Joaquin, in the area of which the ship turned out to be, and did not change the course. He also misjudged the current situation due to the natural disaster and did not take some of the necessary measures to save the ship.
The report also says that because of the rush, the cargo on the ship was unevenly distributed, resulting in a strong roll on one side. According to experts, during the storm, the main engine “El Faro” also disconnected. In addition, not all members of the team spoke English well and were familiar with the security requirements.
“El Faro” sank on October 1, 2015 with 33 crew members on board. It delivered 391 containers from the port of Jacksonville (Florida) to Puerto Rico, mainly with cars. After the engine failure, water began to flow into the hold.After that, communication with the vessel was interrupted.
The US Coast Guard used civil and military aircraft to search for crew members and the vessel itself, as well as three tugs. Soon the authorities found out that the debris discovered at a depth of approximately 4.6 km belonged to El Faro. Their study with the help of a submerged bathyscaphe showed that the ship was subjected to considerable destruction, breaking into several parts. One of the ship’s decks was discovered 1 km from the main part of the ship.
The bodies of the sailors were not found, all crew members were deemed dead.