Posted on Oct 2, 2015
SN Greg Wright
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Thoughts and hopes go out to my fellow Merchant Marines and hope that their ship is just dark, and not visiting Davey Jones. If they've gone down...well. I'll wait for more news. They issued a distress call to the CG, who is searching for them, but I've not heard whether or not their EPIRBs activated -- which would indicate a high probability of sinking.

Having said that, it's HIGHLY unusual for an American ship to lose contact like this, but losing propulsion in a storm is bad news for ANY kind of ship...

For the record, even if the El Faro sank, modern Merchant vessels have VERY good lifeboats, and Sailors are required to train on them at least once a week (just like their Navy counterparts). So there's a good chance that they're still alive, out there. If so, the CG will find them.

"At approximately 7:30 a.m. on Oct 1, 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. "


********Update #1********

Sunday the CG found a life ring, life jackets, shipping containers, and an oil slick. It's confirmed that the ring and containers are from the SS El Faro. At this point, it's not looking good. No definite confirmation that she's gone down, but....It might be time to move expectations to, hopefully, locating some life boats.

*******Update 2******

It saddens me to say that the El Faro is now assumed lost at sea. The CG has found a large debris field containing many items one expects to see from such an incident. They have recovered one lifeboat that was empty. They found one crewman in a survival suit who was deceased. Mariners are trained to get into them in the water if they need to, so this doesn't tell us if they had time before a sudden catastrophic event, ie capsizing. The empty lifeboat worries me. Short of a sudden capsize, they should have had time to board either a boat or raft. My heart is heavy for the loss of fellow mariners, and my sympathy goes out to families who are anxiously waiting news.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/02/us/hurricane-joaquin/index.html
Posted in these groups: C8005900 SailorsNavy NavyUnited_states_coast_guard_seal Coast Guard
Edited >1 y ago
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SGT Christopher King
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My prayers and thoughts go out to all my fellow merchant marines! Bring my merchant marine brothers home! SIU(seafarers international Union) manned vessels are some of the most highly trained merchant marines if there is a way to survive the storm they WILL/HAVE found it! From a concerned Siu member!
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CPT Military Police
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This is the first time I heard about this. Thank you for letting us know.
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SN Greg Wright
SN Greg Wright
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CPT (Join to see) You're welcome, Captain. I wish there was a better way to highlight MM's contributions to the country, but if they did go down, they at least deserved a thread.
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MAJ David Wallace
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Last i heard the ship was in the path of the hurricane with a 15-degree list; never good on the best of days. Really respect the Merchant Marine. My grandfather was a chief carpenter aboard several Liberty ships making the Lend-Lease runs into Murmansk......wish I had known him better. Pray for our Merchant Marine Sailors currently in harm's way!
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SN Greg Wright
SN Greg Wright
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MAJ David Wallace Did you know that the Merchant Marines had a higher rate of casualties than any other service during WW2? I've posted a thread about it if you care to read.

Your grandfather put his life on the line for his country during a time when storms weren't the worst things to worry about. I salute him, Major.

As for the list, that's bad, but easily correctable with counter-ballast. The worst thing is the loss of propulsion. If you can't keep the waves off your broadside, you're likely to wind up with a roll very much larger than 15 degrees....and generally speaking, 29 - 32 is all you get.
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