The voyage data recorder from El Faro, a TOTE Services 790’ ro/ro containership that sank during Hurricane Joaquin in October 2015, was successfully recovered from the ocean floor on Monday, Aug. 8.
The recovery of the capsule caps a 10-month-long, multiagency effort led by the National Transportation Safety Board to retrieve the recorder, which was designed to record navigational data and communications between crewmembers on the ship’s bridge. Investigators hope the recorder will reveal information about the final hours of El Faro’s voyage and the circumstances leading up to the sinking, in which all 33 crewmembers died.
The third mission to the El Faro wreck site began Aug. 5, 2016, and the Navy fleet tug Apache arrived on scene Aug. 8. Later that same evening, the El Faro’s voyage data recorder was brought aboard theApache by the Navy’s CURV-21 remotely operated vehicle, operated by Phoenix International.
All of the components of the El Faro’s VDR were transported to the NTSB’s laboratory in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 12. The examination of the data that may be contained on the El Faro’s data recorder is set to begin Aug. 15.