USNS Apache Locates The El Faro

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USNS Apache

New Jersey-based shipping firm’s vessel, the El Faro, said to have sunk on Oct. 1 in the Bermuda Triangle during Hurricane Joaquin, had in all probability been located by the U.S. Navy search team.

The wreckage was discovered at a depth of about 15,000 feet, in the ship’s last known position by the sonar equipment on board USNS Apache.  National Transportation Safety Board said late Saturday.  The search team detected the images in its fifth of 13 planned search line surveys.  The El Faro, a 735-foot cargo ship with 33 crew members aboard, was owned by TOTE Inc. of Princeton.

The ship was  on a regular weekly cargo run between Jacksonville, Florida and Puerto Rico.  The final communication from the captain indicates  that it had lost propulsion, was taking on water and was listing.  Coast Guard said vessel went missing as it was battered by high winds and seas up to 50-feet.

NTSB officials said the identity of the wreckage will be confirmed by specialists on Apache using a deep ocean, remotely operated robot to survey.  However, the sonar images are consistent with a 790-foot cargo ship which was found in an upright position and in one piece.

Source: NJ