Engine Failure Left Cargo Ship Adrift In Joaquin


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ A team from the National Transportation Safety Board was on its way to Jacksonville on Tuesday morning to study debris from a sunken U.S.-based cargo ship, conduct interviews, and look at documents to find out what went wrong and how to prevent such incidents in the future.

NTSB Vice Chairwoman Bella Dinh-Zarr called it a tragic situation when reporters asked whether she was surprised that no survivors have been found.

At a news conference at Washington’s Reagan National Airport as the team prepared to fly to Jacksonville, she said, “We have survival factors as a major part of our investigation.”

She says the NTSB’s investigation will be separate from the Coast Guard’s work and won’t interfere with search-and-rescue operations.

Dinh-Zarr says the size of the debris field and depth of the water are challenging for investigators.

Investigators now believe the captain of the ill-fated El Faro wanted to steer his giant vessel to calmer waters but an engine problem left the nearly 800 foot long ship adrift in 140 mile an hour winds and 50 foot waves.