Re: Large Cargo Vessel Missing Off Bahamas
Clip from that article linked. Jacksonville
cargo ship with 33 aboard missing in Hurricane
Joaquin | jacksonville
Listing 15 degrees, 40 year old ship, taking on water
due to leak, in the eye of a Hurricane
? Does not sound good.
A 735-foot Jacksonville-based cargo ship with 33 crew members is missing and apparently caught in Hurricane Joaquin near Crooked Island, Bahamas, according to Coast Guard rescuers.
The El Faro was en route from Jacksonville to San Juan, Puerto Rico, when it began taking on water, said Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Ryan Doss.
It was last heard from at 7:30 a.m. Thursday when the ship’s crew contacted the Coast Guard about the leak to say it had been contained but that the ship was listing at about 15 degrees. Doss said the El Faro was believed to be in the eye of the hurricane at the time.
Officials said the crew consists of 31 U.S. citizens and two from Poland, according to The Associated Press.
“This vessel is disabled basically right near the eye of Hurricane Joaquin,” said Coast Guard Capt. Mark Fedor in Miami. “We’re going to go and try and save lives. We’re going to push it to the operational limits as far as we can.”
Fedor said there were 20- to 30-foot waves in the area and that heavy winds could have destroyed the ship’s communications equipment.
Attempts by hurricane hunter aircraft have been unsuccessful in contacting the ship by radio and could not fly low enough to make visual contact, Doss said. A C-130 aircraft was on the way to where the ship may be located, and a Coast Guard cutter is following the path of the hurricane.
The 40-year-old El Faro is owned by the Sea Star line and operated by TOTE Maritime. The ship that left Jacksonville Tuesday was carrying groceries, cars and general retail products, according to Tote Maritime. At the time, the ship was monitoring what was then a tropical storm.
The company has been in touch with family members of the crew to provide them with updates, according to a statement from TOTE.
“TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico is working closely with the U.S. Coast Guard and all available resources to establish communication by whatever means possible,” the company said.
Doss said the ship was last heard from about 35 miles north of Crooked Island.
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