It’s been weeks since the ill-fated El Faro cargo ship went missing in Hurricane Joaquin. The vessel had 33 crew members on board when it vanished in the storm, which blew up from a tropical storm to a Category 4 monster storm almost instantaneously. In recent days, debris from the El Faro have been washing up on the shores of the Bahamas, CBS News reports. Everything from personal hygiene items to bottles of colored liquid to a shoe and even a refrigeration unit have been swept onto San Salvador and Exuma Island beaches.
The serial number from the refrigeration unit has allowed investigators to confirm that it did belong to the El Faro.
The most recent findings don’t bode well for the fate of the El Faro, or for the lives of those who were aboard when it disappeared. The crew is presumed lost, and the search efforts were transitioned from possible to recovery weeks ago. This morning, the best that most of the crew’s loved ones can hope for is answers and some semblance of closure.
CNN is reporting that the El Faro captain, Michael Davidson, is named in a $100 million lawsuit that has been filed on behalf of a missing crew member. The company that owned the missing cargo ship is also listed as a defendant. The grieving family members are citing negligence, both due to the decision to continue into Joaquin and with regard to the ship’s operating condition when it disappeared. It’s reported that El Faro may have been taking on water prior to going missing. This claim appears to be substantiated by a distress call made by its captain on October 1, which indicated that the apparently doomed El Faro was taking on water due to a hull breach.
“Money won’t bring him back, I know that. But we’re going to change things and that’s what big business understands is when you hit them in their pockets.”
Additional reports indicate that at least three former El Faro crew members knew about structural issues with the vessel. There are many questions as to why the owner of the vessel or its captain felt it appropriate to sail it into a known tropical storm. The trajectory has also been questioned by experts, family members, and lawyers alike. The captain had reported that the El Faro would pass no closer than 65 miles from the eye of Joaquin, but the last known signal put the El Faro a mere 20 miles from Joaquin’s eye.
While many have been questioning the wisdom of trying to steer El Faro through known bad weather in the first place, others are speculating whether or not there may have been a more nefarious, even supernatural aspect that contributed to the apparent loss of the cargo ship.
Some are attributing the ship’s fate to being in the vicinity of the notorious “Bermuda Triangle.”
News.com.au directly referenced the infamous area of the ocean when it reported on the fate of the El Faro. The Bermuda Triangle has a long and storied history of allegedly being responsible for the mysterious disappearances of both ships and planes, and in many cases, the vessels and planes were never recovered. In others, a plane or ship will wash ashore with no sign of the crew or human life on board.
Most of time, the weather conditions at the time of a mysterious disappearance are next to pristine, though. Ships and planes simply drop off of the radar. In the instance of the El Faro, things played out a bit differently.
While El Faro was last known to be functional in the Triangle, it was also headed directly into an awful storm. The El Faro was also known to be taking on water, possibly even listing.
While it’s tempting to attribute the ship’s disappearance to something otherworldly, it seems as though this is one Bermuda Triangle loss that could have been prevented. Today, as more debris from the cargo ship are found, the biggest question is “why?” Why was the El Faro headed straight into a storm in the first place?
[Photo Courtesy of Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images]