Published On: Mon, Oct 5th, 2015

US Coast Guard continues search for missing container ship in Bahamas

el_faroMIAMI, USA -- US Coast Guard aircrews resumed the search on Sunday for a missing container ship with 33 crewmembers aboard near Crooked Island, Bahamas.

The El Faro, a 790-foot roll on, roll off, cargo ship, departed Jacksonville, Florida, on September 29, en route to San Juan, Puerto Rico. At approximately 7:30 am on Thursday, watchstanders at the Coast Guard Atlantic Area command center in Portsmouth, Virginia, received an Inmarsat satellite notification stating the El Faro was beset by Hurricane Joaquin, had lost propulsion and had a 15-degree list.

The crew reported the ship had previously taken on water, but that all flooding had been contained. The El Faro has not been heard from since.

Coast Guard search crews covered more than 850 square nautical miles on Friday in the search for the El Faro crew but hurricane force winds and 20 to 30-foot swells hampered search efforts.

Coast Guard search and rescue crews resumed search efforts early Saturday with a HC-130 Hercules fixed-wing aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Florida.

On Sunday, search and rescue crews reportedly located multiple objects in the water in the search area for the El Faro.

Life jackets, life rings, containers and an oil sheen were located by Coast Guard aircrews. The objects have not yet been confirmed to be from the El Faro.

The Coast Guard Cutter Charles Sexton and the Coast Guard Cutter Resolute were en-route to assist with the search.

Other agencies involved in the search include the US Air Force and the US Navy.

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