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Photos of El Faro's lost crew in front row of Coast Guard hearing act as sobering reminder

by: Lorena Inclan, Action News Jax Updated:

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - In a powerful show of solidarity, the families of those lost at sea in the sinking of El Faro brought photos of their loved ones to Friday’s Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation hearing.

During a recess, they all stood behind their loved ones' photos; some embraced each other as they were overcome with emotion.

While they weren’t on the witness stand, their voices were loud and clear.

“It’s to put a face on it, it’s not just a statistic. I mean, 33 are dead and it’s brothers, it’s sisters, it’s sons, it’s fathers,” said Glen Jackson, who lost his brother Jack Jackson.

Earlier in the day, former El Faro 2nd and 3rd mate Alejandro Berrios was also emotional when the attorney for Capt. Michael Davidson’s widow, William Bennett, asked him if he enjoyed working on El Faro.

“Correct,” said Berrios.

“It was a good crew, correct?” asked Bennett.



El Faro Family Members

“Correct,” said Berrios.

Berrios also gave insight into Davidson’s leadership style and described his standing orders.

“I don’t remember all that it stated but I do remember that it had a lot of paragraphs on different topics and that they were very specific and very complete so as you didn’t have a doubt on how to stand a watch and perform your duties in all aspects,” said Berrios. “And that you knew exactly when you had to call him.”

Many family members have been here every step of the way, taking time off work to attend the hearings, while others diligently watch the hearings online.

Their presence isn’t lost on the Marine Board of Investigation members, who see them sitting in the audience every day.

“I have full confidence the Coast Guard and the NTSB have the same gravity of the situation that the family members feel,” said Jackson.

The hearing will reconvene Monday at 9 a.m. at the Prime Osborn Convention Center.

El Faro remembrance