The US’s National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) has revealed the harrowing, scary lead up to the sinking of the El Faro, via 26 hours of information gleaned from the ill-fated Tote ship’s voyage data recorder (VDR).
The recordings include the moment the ship started taking on water, then lost power and started to list. The VDR also shows the communication between the ship’s captain and the US Coast Guard and the captain’s eventual decision to abandon ship during incredibly tempestuous conditions. All 33 crewmembers onboard subsequently lost their lives. The last signal recorded by the VDR took place 10 minutes after the master had announced the time had come to abandon ship.
The ship’s owner has been negotiating with the families of the crewmembers over compensation, with many accepting damages in the region of $500,000.