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Coast Guard: Body Found in Search for Sunken Ship Near Bahamas

  • VOA News

Capt. Mark Fedor (r) chief of response for the Coast Guard 7th District, talks to during a news conference as Lt. Commander Gabe Somma (l) listens, Oct. 5, 2015, at the Opa-locka Airport in Opa-locka, Fla.

Capt. Mark Fedor (r) chief of response for the Coast Guard 7th District, talks to during a news conference as Lt. Commander Gabe Somma (l) listens, Oct. 5, 2015, at the Opa-locka Airport in Opa-locka, Fla.

The U.S. Coast Guard says it has found the remains of one crew member in its search for a cargo ship that sank off the coast of the Bahamas last week.

Coast Guard spokesman Mark Fedor says the body was recovered in a survival suit found floating amid debris from the El Faro, which disappeared in the eye of Hurricane Joaquin.

"We are still looking for survivors and signs of life," said Fedor. He added, however, that authorities are no longer searching for the vessel.

Fedor says searchers recovered a heavily damaged life boat belonging to the vessel, but found no people or signs of life.

He says the ship was equipped with two lifeboats, each able to hold 43 people. He says authorities remain hopeful of finding survivors, despite them having to abandon ship in a Category 4 hurricane.

"We're not going to discount somebody's will to survive, and that's why we're searching today," said Fedor.

Searchers have spotted multiple objects in the water in the area where the container ship with 33 people on board went missing Thursday off the southeastern Bahamas.

The El Faro departed from Jacksonville, Florida on Sept. 29, when Joaquin was a tropical storm. Twenty-eight crew members from the United States and five from Poland were on board. The vessel was heading to Puerto Rico on a regular cargo supply run when it encountered trouble.

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