Louisiana residents following the El Faro container ship sinking may be interested to learn that it was reported that the ship's "black box" has evidence showing that the 33-person crew did everything they could to keep the vessel afloat. The El Faro sank in 2015 as it was heading to Puerto Rico from Jacksonville.
The ship lost its propulsion system during Hurricane Joaquin. The voyage data recorder, which was recovered in 2016, had audio of conversations that went on during the incident. The audio transcripts showed that the captain stated that he lost the propulsion system about an hour before giving orders to abandon the ship. At the same time the propulsion system was lost, the engineering crew reported that water was coming in through the ship's ventilation ducts.
The captain rang the ship's general alarm at about 7:30 on the morning of Oct. 1, alerting the crew to prepare to abandon the vessel. Moments later, it appeared that the ship began to sink. Although rescue crews searched the area, no bodies or survivors were ever found. Many of the families filed a lawsuit against the ship's owner, TOTE Maritime, Inc.
If a family loses a loved one in a maritime accident, they may be eligible to file a claim against the owner of the ship. An attorney may assist with gathering evidence that provides proof that the ship was not properly maintained and presented a hazardous work environment. These types of incidents are usually covered by provisions of the federal Jones Act.
Source: Claims Journal, "El Faro Recording Reveals Crew Did all They Could", Jason Dearen, Feb. 10, 2017