This screen shot is from underwater video of the sunken El Faro, discovered in 15,000 feet of water off the Bahamas in October 2015 after it sank during Hurricane Joaquin. (NTSB video)

December NTSB Meeting to Determine Why El Faro Sank

The U.S.-flagged cargo ship sank in October 2015 during Hurricane Joaquin, with the loss of all 33 crew members on board.

The National Transportation Safety Board plans a Dec. 12, 2017, meeting in Washington, D.C., to determine the probable cause of the October 2015 sinking of the cargo ship El Faro in the Atlantic Ocean. The 790-foot, U.S.-flagged ship left Jacksonville on Sept. 29 en route to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and sank about 34 hours later near the eye of Hurricane Joaquin. All 33 crew members aboard the ship died --28 U.S. crew members and five Polish workers.

NTSB launched its investigation as soon as the sinking was confirmed and, with assistance from the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, the wreckage and debris field was located Oct. 31, 2015, at a depth of more than 15,000 feet. The board was unable to recover the voyage data recorder that time or in a second attempt but did recover it during a third mission in August 2016 that was supported by the U.S. Navy.

Along with determining the probable cause of the sinking and factors that may have contributed to the accident, the board is expected to vote on recommendations to address safety issues uncovered during the investigation. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time; it is open to the public and media and will be webcast live at http://ntsb.capitolconnection.org/.

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