This 15 minute video summarizes the NTSB investigation of one of the greatest marine disasters in US waters, the sinking of El Faro with the loss of all 33 mariners aboard, on 1 October 2015, due to the tropical storm Joaquin.
The short film examines the NTSB’s determination of the cause of the accident and discusses associated recommendations to improve marine safety. It also highlights the three missions undertaken to retrieve the voyage data recorder and document the wreckage at a depth of 15,000 feet beneath the ocean surface.
The particular case ended up to be one of the most challenging and intensive investigations the NTSB had ever undertaken. As the official reports by NTSB, as well as by USCG, have shown, the key cause of the accident was the Captain’s failure to handle the ship against the storm and make appropriate use of weather data, as well as his late decision to muster the crew. In general, both USCG and NTSB found many similar conclusions regarding the underlying systemic challenges in the safety framework, Rear Admiral John P. Nadeau, USCG, noted in an exclusive interview with SAFETY4SEA.
”The NTSB and US Navy demonstrated amazing capabilities that enabled recovery of the VDR, which greatly improved the understanding of the timeline, decisions, and conditions onboard the vessel when the tragedy occurred.” RADM Nadeau explained.