Coast Guard to Release El Faro Investigation Report On Sunday

stern of the El Faro as seen from underwater ROV
The stern of the El Faro is shown on the ocean floor taken from an underwater video camera on November 1, 2015. Courtesy National Transportation Safety Board/Handout

The United States Coast Guard is set to release its highly-anticipated Marine Board of Investigation report into the 2015 sinking of the American cargo ship SS El Faro on Sunday.

The report identifies the causal factors of the loss of the El Faro and 33 crew members, the Coast Guard said. It also proposes safety recommendations for future actions to the Commandant of the Coast Guard. Coast Guard standard procedure and 46 USC 63 requires this type of report to be done for all marine casualties under Coast Guard authority.

“The most important thing to remember is that 33 people lost their lives in this tragedy. If adopted, we believe the safety recommendations in our report will improve safety of life at sea” said Capt. Jason Neubauer, chairman, El Faro Marine Board of Investigation, U.S. Coast Guard.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard with the full cooperation of the National Transportation Safety Board, which is conducting its own investigation into the accident.

The SS El Faro sank off the Bahamas on October 1, 2015 after sailing into Hurricane Joaquin during a voyage from Jacksonville, Florida to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The Coast Guard’s Marine Board of Investigation wrapped up its third and final hearing into the disaster in February after NTSB investigators retrieved and transcribed key information from the El Faro’s voyage data recorder, including bridge audio recordings from the ship’s final hours. 

The report will be accessible at HERE on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017.