Lessons Learned from Sinking of US Cargo Vessel SS El Faro

Lessons Learned from Sinking of US Cargo Vessel SS El Faro

Lessons Learned from Sinking of US Cargo Vessel SS El Faro

On October 1, 2015, during Hurricane Joaquin, the US-flagged cargo ship SS El Faro sank in the Atlantic Ocean about 40 nautical miles northeast of Acklins and Crooked Island, Bahamas. All 33 people on board perished. The investigation into the El Faro accident was the largest marine investigation in NTSB history. The findings of our investigation—which touched on many issues, including crew management and survival factors—were released on December 12, 2017, in a 300 page report: https://www.ntsb.gov/investig…/AccidentReports/…/MAR1701.pdf

Since then, we have produced two additional products for various publics to more succinctly summarize critical events and decisions that led to the October 1, 2015, sinking; highlight our key findings and recommendations to improve safety; and capture our investigative process into this most unique investigation.

Today, we released a video summarizing our investigation. The video examines the NTSB’s determination of the cause of the accident and discusses associated recommendations to improve marine safety. It also highlights the three missions undertaken to retrieve the voyage data recorder and document the wreckage, which was found 15,000 feet beneath the ocean’s surface.

And in case you missed it, in May, we released an illustrated digest that details in maps and images the critical events of the tragedy. The digest also synopsizes the more than 60 recommendations issued throughout the NTSB’s investigation of the sinking. The infographics and summary make for an easy-to-read digest, compared with the thousands of pages that comprise the NTSB’s final report and associated investigative documents, while still imparting potentially lifesaving information to our stakeholders. https://www.ntsb.gov/investi…/AccidentReports/…/SPC1801.aspx

The NTSB’s mission is the investigation accidents, determine their probable cause and issue safety recommendations to prevent similar tragedies from happening again. The NTSB believes that if the safety recommendations issued as a result of the sinking of El Faro are acted upon, it will result in a broad range of improvements to the safety of marine transportation, charting a safer course for all mariners. We encourage you to read and view the reports and video, and share it to improve safety for all.

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