Last Words from a Dying Ship's Crew: The El Faro Recording.
This good article gives a chilling account, a reconstruction of dialog, of what happened two years ago when the El Faro, a large commercial
freighter (container ship) sank during a hurricane
as it went from Florida
to Puerto Rico
The article includes transcripts of recordings of the words said by the Captain
and crew, recordings recovered from the ships' "black box" recorder that was found on the bottom of the ocean. The El Faro sank in 15,000 feet of water
. All hands were lost
, no bodies recovered. It was a real tragedy, and the greatest maritime loss of life for the USA
The article's reconstruction is chilling. As it shows the captain's responses and the fears of some of the crew, including the last words recorded from the bridge as the ship slipped under the surface.
Why share this story with sailors? Answer: seamanship.
As I see it, it is good to study what happens to sinking ships and crews, and why.
This story is a rare example of the actual recorded words of the captain
and crew (via voyage recorder transcript) and shows how the situation on the ship got out of control very quickly. It also mentions the crew was told to abandon ship, to take to the life rafts and life boats. Those were open life boats.
For people who study historic sinkings or contemporary rescues (I do), I think this story is worth reading, because of the insights into the actual last words, actions, and hours of El Faro.