The loss of the cargo ship El Faro at sea during Hurricane Joaquin shook Jacksonville to its core. However, a Wednesday conference call between Mayor Lenny Curry‘s office and the NTSB revealed that answers regarding what precisely happened to the ship will not manifest anytime soon.
“On the conference call, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) provided an overview of how they will investigate El Faro. NTSB arrived yesterday morning and met with the Coast Guard, families of the victims and Tote Services, which owns the cargo ship,” wrote Jessica Baker in an email to other senior staff members. “NTSB will be on the scene for 7-10 days conducting a fact finding investigation. This includes learning about the operations, engineering/electronic, human performance, communications and maintenance and sailing records of El Faro. Afterwards, NTSB will present their independent analysis, independent of the Coast Guard. It will be 12-18 months until they provide a conclusion as to what happened to El Faro, as well as safety recommendations.
“NTSB explained that they will stay on scene for as long as it takes, but expect to be here for 7-10 days and then continue their investigation elsewhere. The Coast Guard is continuing search and rescue,” Baker wrote.