NTSB Trying Again to Find El Faro's Black Box

"We're hopeful that the information contained in the voyage data recorder will provide insights into the circumstances of the ship's sinking," said Brian Curtis, acting director of the NTSB Office of Marine Safety.

The National Transportation Safety Board's third mission to find the voyage data recorder of the sunken cargo ship El Faro is under way. The Military Sealift Command's fleet ocean tug USNS Apache was scheduled to leave Aug. 5 from Virginia Beach, Va., and to arrive at the site where the wreckage was located around Aug. 9.

The NTSB, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Navy, and Phoenix International are joining the recovery effort and using CURV-21, a deep ocean remotely operated underwater vehicle, to retrieve the recorder and to conduct additional documentation of the wreckage. "We're hopeful that the information contained in the voyage data recorder will provide insights into the circumstances of the ship's sinking," said Brian Curtis, acting director of the NTSB Office of Marine Safety.

The ship sank Oct. 1, 2015, during Hurricane Joaquin. NTSB began searching for it soon afterward and ultimately found it in April in about 15,000 feet of water about 41 miles northeast of Crooked Islands, Bahamas.

This mission is expected to end sometime between Aug. 16 and Aug. 20 and will cost $500,000, bringing the total for the three missions to approximately $3 million.

Phoenix International Holdings Inc., which is based in Largo, Md., also has been involved in the search for the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean.

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