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US Navy to Search Wreckage Thought to Be Missing Ship

  • VOA News

Workers retrieve and secure the tow pinger locator aboard the USNS Apache as part of efforts to locate wreckage from the missing cargo ship El Faro, Oct. 24, 2015.

Workers retrieve and secure the tow pinger locator aboard the USNS Apache as part of efforts to locate wreckage from the missing cargo ship El Faro, Oct. 24, 2015.

A U.S. Navy salvage team is preparing to launch a remotely operated submersible to confirm that wreckage discovered near the Bahamas is that of the cargo ship El Faro, lost in a hurricane last month.

The 790-foot El Faro vanished on October 1 with 33 crew members during Hurricane Joaquin.

Authorities said they aim to survey the wreckage and hope to locate a voyage data recorder — the ship's "black box" — that could yield clues as to what happened.

If human remains are encountered during the submersible operation, the Navy will attempt to recover them, NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson said

This still image from video taken by the US Coast Guard shows a life ring recovered by the Coast Guard from the El Faro cargo ship, that has gone missing during Hurricane Joaquin.

This still image from video taken by the US Coast Guard shows a life ring recovered by the Coast Guard from the El Faro cargo ship, that has gone missing during Hurricane Joaquin.

El Faro's captain made a distress call before the vessel disappeared, saying the ship had lost engine power during its voyage from Jacksonville, Florida, to San Juan, Puerto Rico. The captain, Michael Davidson, said the ship was listing and taking on water.

An extensive search by the U.S. Coast Guard found only floating debris and one body in a survival suit, which was not recovered.

The loss of El Faro was the worst maritime accident involving a U.S.-flagged vessel since 1983.

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