On October 20, 2015, the National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”) issued its preliminary report of the EL FARO’s sinking amidst Hurricane Joaquin. On Tuesday, October 6, the NTSB launched a full team to lead the federal investigation in Jacksonville, in cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard, the American Bureau of Shipping, and TOTE.
Read the two-page preliminary report here: http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Reports/DCA16MM01_preliminary_report.pdf
A press release issued by the NTSB also on October 20 stated that the 40-year-old EL FARO began to receive modifications to the vessel in August of this year, in preparation for the ship’s upcoming redeployment to a new route between Washington state and Alaska. Modifications were completed about the ship during voyages between Jacksonville, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico, including the voyage during which the EL FARO sank on October 1, 2015.
Notably, the press release specifically mentions that on September 11 of this year, TOTE received permission from the Coast Guard to shut down one the EL FARO’s two boilers for inspection by an outside service. The results of this inspection indicated both boilers needed to be serviced, which was scheduled for approximately one month after the EL FARO’s fatal voyage, on November 6 of this year.
Read the full NTSB press release here: http://www.ntsb.gov/news/press-releases/Pages/PR20151020.aspx