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El Faro Update

Discussion in 'YachtForums Yacht Club' started by olderboater, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Wow, set back after set back. There search keeps getting harder and harder. Hopefully they find it. It must've encountered some very violent forces to rip the bridge off of the ship and then also rip the data recorder that was attached to the bridge.
  3. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    No mention yet of the proximity of the bridge to the hull. Also was this just the bridge or did it include the deck below.
  4. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    Copied from G Captain.

    The National Transportation Safety Board says it has completed its documentation of the wreck of the cargo ship El Faro and the associated debris field, but the vessel’s voyage data recorder (VDR) has not been located.

    No further search missions for the VDR are planned, the NTSB said.

    “Over the years we’ve completed many investigations without the aid of recorders and other investigative tools,” said NTSB Chairman Christopher A. Hart. “While it is disappointing that the voyage data recorder was not located, we are hopeful that we’ll be able to determine the probable cause of this tragedy and the factors that may have contributed to it.”\

    There is more but this is the gist of it.
  5. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Indeed. The pressure at 15,000 feet is 6,502.72 psi.

    "Hopefully this won't lead to controversy."

    Let's everybody try to stick to FACTS (sparce though they may be), not speculation, and let the final reports by the CG, Navy and NTSB draw the conclusions.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015
  6. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    That seems to be a direct contradiction to:

    Investigators must now search the sea floor for the recorder, the ship’s equivalent of a black box, a considerably smaller target. Searchers will comb a 1.5-mile radius around the wreckage for the recorder, which is roughly the size of a piece of carry-on luggage. Finding the recorder would offer clues to the cause of the sinking, including its speed and trajectory, as well as audio recordings from the bridge.

    “This makes our job harder, but we’re going to try” to find it, said Eric Weiss, an NTSB spokesman.
  7. Danvilletim

    Danvilletim Senior Member

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    What data is in a ships black box? I can image GPS data, but will it record bilge alarms? Messing hatches, voices?
  8. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    No, it isn't. They said they were going to search for it and that it would be helpful. They searched. They tried. They were unsuccessful. They have now said they can't find it so they'll end the search and continue without it.

    Also, during this time, they have done many other aspects of the underwater investigation.
  9. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    From what I understand there's heading, speed, various mechanical readings, and probably most illuminating, voice recordings from the bridge.
  10. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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  11. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Very interesting. Do we have any idea whether the El Faro carried a VDR or an S-VDR?
  12. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Given her age I think she would have been able to have the Lite Version S-VDR fitted at some stage as a retrofit. The full one seems to be aimed at new passenger and cargo ships built ( keel laid) after 01 July 2002
  13. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    I'm assuming that unlike the aviation version the ship's recorders don't "ping" ?
  14. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Yes, they do ping, but this one was never detected. So whether it was pinging or not, we don't know.
  15. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    unfortunately the website to your links is blocked out so cannot access them.
  16. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    It starts with a G, Captain J.
  17. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Feb 16 (Reuters) – The captain of the U.S. cargo ship that sank off the Bahamas in a hurricane last fall, killing all 33 people on board, was responsible for decisions that put the vessel in the path of the storm, the company that operated the vessel said on Tuesday.

    But members of a U.S. Coast Guard panel examining the sinking questioned that assessment and why the company had produced only a handful of email exchanges with the captain during the ill-fated voyage.

    The 790-foot (241-meter) El Faro went down off the Bahamas on Oct. 1 while on a cargo run between Florida and Puerto Rico. It was the worst cargo shipping disaster involving a U.S.-flagged vessel in more than three decades.

    Captain Michael Davidson, a veteran mariner from Maine, reported losing propulsion and taking on water before it sank.

    Philip Morrell, an executive with ship operator Tote Services said the captain had “total responsibility,” including final determinations about safety, when to sail and the route.

    The Coast Guard’s Marine Board of Investigation is looking for evidence of misconduct, inattention to duty, negligence or willful violation of the law by licensed or certified individuals.

    Panelists noted a company email sent to Davidson, which said he was authorized to change his route to avoid the storm. But Morrell responded that the captain did not need company permission to change course.

    The board’s marine casualty expert Keith Fawcett questioned why the company produced relatively few emails exchanged between the captain and company during the voyage, compared to thousands exchanged during previous hurricanes. Morrell said he did not know.

    The investigation board last met to investigate the 2010 Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion that killed 11 workers and triggered the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

    Tuesday marked the start of 10 days of hearings on El Faro. The Coast Guard said it found the crew had proper credentials and the ship carried required safety and communications equipment.

    Relatives of the dead El Faro crew members have sued Tote, saying the ship was not seaworthy and should have avoided the hurricane.

    Tote has blamed the accident on a loss of power due to unknown causes and has invoked a 19th-century maritime law that would limit its financial liability.

    The National Transportation Safety Board will try again in April to recover the ship’s voyage data recorder from the wreckage at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. (Reporting by Barbara Liston in Orlando, Fla.; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Tom Brown)

    (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2016.

    El Faro’s Final Voyage
    http://i0.wp.com/********.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/El-Faro-Route-Final-Voyage.jpeg?zoom=1.5&resize=750%2C579
    Credit: U.S. Coast Guard
    Hurricane Joaquin
    http://i1.wp.com/********.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Hurricane-Joaquin.jpg?zoom=1.5&resize=655%2C477
    Credit: U.S. Coast Guard
    El Faro Route During TS Erika
    http://i1.wp.com/********.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/El-Faro-Route-TS-Erika-Route-vs-Final-Voyage.jpeg?zoom=1.5&resize=750%2C579
    Credit: U.S. Coast Guard
    Tropical Storm Erika
    http://i2.wp.com/********.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/TS-Erika-Track.jpg?zoom=1.5&resize=207%2C125
    Credit: U.S. Coast Guard

    http://********.com/coast-guard-wraps-first-day-of-testimony-in-el-faro-hearing/
  18. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    So, we've learned more about TOTE, as if we didn't already had good basis. What they fail to say of course is that they could have told the Captain at any time they didn't think he should continue the course. Of course they're trying to coerce the victim's families into relatively small settlements on the basis if they don't agree, they may not get even that, citing some very old laws.

    I figured there were things that had come up in the investigation to make them want to make another try for the DVR. Now we see, a suspiciously low amount of emails. I applaud the investigation in not just questioning the actions of the captain, but those of the company and the pressures on the captain, as well as reviewing the communications during the time.
  19. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    El Faro’s Final Communications Played at Hearing – LISTEN
    February 21, 2016 by Reuters

    ReutersFeb 20 (Reuters) – The captain of the doomed El Faro warned that the “clock was ticking” as his cargo ship took on water in an Atlantic hurricane that would eventually sink the vessel, a U.S. Coast Guard panel heard on Saturday.

    Captain Michael Davidson pleaded for help as his ship, operated by Tote Services, sailed into the path of Hurricane Joaquin near the Bahamas, according to a recording of his final calls played at the hearing.

    He told an on-shore call center of a “maritime emergency,” saying water breached the hull, entering three holds.

    Soon afterwards, contact with the ship was broken, and Davidson and 32 others were lost at sea. The sinking ranks as the worst disaster involving a U.S.-flagged cargo ship in more than three decades.

    Recordings of the calls, made last October, were posted on the website of WOKV, a Jacksonville radio station.

    AUDIO: El Faro Captain Davidson’s call with TOTE Services’ Designated Person Ashore

    AUDIO: El Faro Captain Davidson’s call with TOTE Services’ Emergency Call Center

    AUDIO: Coast Guard Sector Miami’s call with TOTE Services’ Designated Person Ashore

    The U.S. Coast Guard began hearings this week to investigate the sinking. Executives of Tote Services have testified that ship captains have full responsibility for deciding when it is safe to sail and on setting the route.

    Tote officials said it was Davidson’s call to depart Jacksonville with a storm brewing in the Atlantic, and said they were not closely monitoring the El Faro’s cargo run to Puerto Rico as a tropical storm strengthened into Joaquin.

    On the phone call to shore, Davidson sounds frustrated with an operator who asked him to spell the name of the boat, telling her “the clock is ticking.”

    In a voicemail to Tote’s “designated person ashore” John Lawrence, Davidson said that he had had a “navigational incident” and a “pretty good list,” referring the water in the holds, and that while the crew was safe he needed to talk to Lawrence.

    Lawrence said that he had called Davidson back quickly, and the veteran Maine mariner sounded calm, according to WOKV. Lawrence then called the Coast Guard.

    Family members of dead crew members have sued Tote in federal court.

    After the 790-foot (241-meter) vessel was lost, the company bought a subscription for a bad-weather routing system for its ships, Tote President Philip Greene, testified this week.

    The Coast Guard’s hearings continue through next Thursday.

    The investigation could result in civil charges. If evidence of criminal activity is found, the Coast Guard will turn it over to the Justice Department. (Editing by Frank McGurty and W Simon)

    (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2016.

    Link