When a Ship Goes Missing : Remember El Faro

I wrote a version of this post two years ago during the Hurricane Joaquin, which, as it turns out in hindsight, was also the date of my own personal unnatural disaster.

It’s still one of the most tragic and AVOIDABLE disasters in maritime history.

We now know that everyone was lost at sea.

The El Faro was on a regular run from Jacksonville to Puerto Rico, which usually take about a week or so.


From ABC News:

“A stricken cargo ship with 28 Americans on board that vanished during Hurricane Joaquin remained missing early Saturday.

Officials said there was still no sign of the El Faro, which was last heard from around 7:20 a.m. Thursday when a distress call indicated it had lost power and was taking on water.

The 735-foot vessel was bound for San Juan in Puerto Rico from Jacksonville, Florida, at the time. It was carrying 28 Americans and five Polish nationals.

Image: Cargo ship El Faro missing in Hurricane Joaquin
The container ship El Faro. TOTE MARITIME via EPA

Around 850 square nautical miles were searched on Friday and the effort resumed at dawn Saturday.

When the El Faro left Jacksonville on Tuesday Joaquin was just a tropical storm. It quickly grew in intensity and was declared a Category 4 storm Thursday as it approached the Bahamas carrying winds of 130 mph.”


It could be 1815 or 1915, but in 2015, ships still go missing and are at the mercy of the elements.

Even with advanced communications technology and state-of-the-art equipment, Mother Nature reigns supreme and the terror of being lost at sea is all too real.

It seems as if the captain, for whatever reasons we’ll never know, made the deadly decision to sail directly into the eye of the hurricane, instead of either waiting it out or steering away from the extreme weather conditions.

Our hearts go out to the crew and their families. Their lives are forever and drastically changed.

 

 

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