Ship to embark on second search for El Faro data recorder

Ship to embark on second search for El Faro data recorder

A research vessel is expected to depart from Charleston Monday to begin a second search for the sunken ship El Faro's voyage data recorder and document the wreckage.

El Faro sank during Hurricane Joaquin on Oct. 1 with 33 crew members aboard.

The second search by the National Transportation Safety Board aims to find the data recorder and better document the wreckage to help determine exactly why the ship sank.

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The research vessel, Atlantis, will search the accident site for 10 days.

The vessel will return to Woods Hole, Massachusetts around May 5.

An autonomous underwater vehicle, AUV Sentry, will be aboard Atlantis and will be used to search for the voyage data recorder.

Officials expect the data recorder to contain critical information for NTSB and U.S. Coast Guard investigators, including basic navigational data and voice data from the El Faro’s navigation bridge in the hours before the ship sank in more than 15,000 feet of water.

During the search for the data recorder, investigators expect to take high-resolution imagery of the hull and wreckage of the El Faro.

In November, the NTSB and U.S. Navy aboard the USNS Apache found El Faro and conducted surveys of the debris field.

The upper two decks, including the navigation bridge, were found separated from the rest of the ship, about a half mile away on the ocean floor.

The main mast of the El Faro, where the data recorder was attached, was not located during the first search.

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Posted by Action News Jax on Sunday, April 17, 2016