CBS News has announced that "60 Minutes" will air a report on the ill-fated El Faro, including the first video footage of the wreck to be shown publicly.
The story will air on the next edition of “60 Minutes,” Sunday, Jan. 3 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
The National Transportation Safety Board continues to investigate the Oct. 1 sinking of the 790’x95’ TOTE Maritime ro/ro containership in Hurricane Joaquin. The El Faro went down with 33 mariners aboard, and the wreck lies in about 15,000 feet of water in the vicinity of its last known position near Crooked Island, Bahamas.
“This is the most difficult and complex investigation I have ever worked on in my 17 years with the National Transportation Safety Board," Tom Roth-Roffy, the lead investigator on the El Faro, told "60 Minutes" reporter Scott Pelley.
Roth-Toffy told Pelley that the investigation has been complicated by the absence of the ship’s voyage data recorder (VDR). The VDR had been mounted on the bridge, which separated from the rest of the boat when it sank. The footage to be aired in the report came from the U.S. Navy’s remotely-operated vehicle CURV-21.
"We were looking, of course, for the bridge and the voyage data recorder...we got up to that level and to see just openness, is extremely moving and difficult...it was a very big surprise," Roth-Roffy said.