The head of the shipping line that operated the ill fated El Faro has said the 40-year-old ship suffered mechanical failure, which was the reason it was unable to avoid last week’s Hurricane Joaquin.
With the US Coast Guard now suggesting the boxship likely sank somewhere off the Bahamas last week in 15,000 ft of water with 33 crew onboard, Phil Greene, president and CEO of Tote Services, discussed the El Faro’s master’s decision to head from Puerto Rico to Florida last Tuesday despite clear evidence the hurricane with 240 kmh winds was barrelling down on the region.
“Regrettably he suffered a mechanical problem with his main propulsion system, which left him in the path of the storm,” Greene said. “We do not know when his engine problems began to occur, nor the reasons for his engine problems.”
One unidentified body in a survival suit has been spotted so far.
“We are still looking for survivors and any signs of life,” US Coast Guard Captain Mark Fedor said at a news conference yesterday.