Coast Guard sets schedule for El Faro hearing

The Coast Guard has released a schedule and materials for its public Marine Board of Investigation hearing into the loss of TOTE Maritime’s El Faro.

The proceedings will open Tuesday morning, Feb. 16, at 9 a.m. with a moment of silence for the 33 mariners lost when the 790’x95’ ro/ro containership sank in Hurricane Joaquin on Oct. 1.

According to the hearing schedule, the first three days of the hearing will be primarily devoted to background on TOTE Services, the ship’s owner.

Witnesses from TOTE management include Phil Morrell, vice president marine operations; Ret. Rear Admiral Phil Greene, president and CEO; Lee Peterson, director, maritime services and security; Mick Kondracki, director of ship management, ARC; Capt. John Lawrence, manager, safety & operations; and Tim Nolan, president of TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico, among others.

Following the TOTE witnesses, the board will turn to other questions, calling witnesses from former El Faro crewmembers, to Coast Guard officials, to a variety of other experts.

The investigation aims to determine the factors contributing to the accident, whether there is evidence that any act of misconduct, inattention to duty, negligence or willful violation of the law on the part of any licensed or certificated person contributed to the casualty; and whether there is evidence that any Coast Guard personnel or any representative or employee of any other government agency or any other person caused or contributed to the casualty.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which conducted its own investigation, will fully participate in the Marine Board of Investigation hearings.

The hearing will take place at the Prime F. Osborn Convention Center, 1000 Water St. in Jacksonville, Fla. The Coast Guard says it will stream the hearing live, and will also issue updates via Twitter using the hashtags: #cgmbi #elfaro.

View the full hearing schedule.

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Ashley Herriman

Ashley Herriman is WorkBoat's online editor.

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