The National Transportation Safety Board has announced that it will soon release a transcript of the audio data recovered from the voyage data recorder (VDR) of the ill-fated ro/ro containership El Faro.
Tote Services 790' El Faro sank Oct. 1, 2015, off the Bahamas in Hurricane Joaquin, killing all 33 crewmembers. Three search efforts over 10 months after the sinking finally yielded the VDR, and the NTSB said this week that it would release a transcript of the audio recordings on Dec. 13.
In addition to the transcript, the NTSB said it would open the investigation docket containing information about weather, engineering, survival factors, and data recovered from the VDR.
The agency will conduct a media briefing about the contents of the docket on Dec. 13 at 9:30 a.m. featuring NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart, NTSB Office of Marine Safety Director Brian Curtis, and NTSB Office of Research and Engineering Director James Ritter. The public docket contains only factual information collected by investigators, and no analysis, the NTSB said.
The investigation into the loss of the El Faro continues. In September, the U.S. Coast Guard announced that it would convene a third round of marine board of investigation hearings to examine information recovered from the VDR. That hearing is tentatively scheduled for this winter.