Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins released the following statement after the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced today that their crews have located the missing voyage data recorder from the commercial ship, El Faro. NTSB will now attempt to retrieve the device.
“This afternoon, I received a briefing from NTSB Chairman Christopher A. Hart, who informed me that the NSTB has located the missing data recorder on the ocean floor. Under the leadership of Chairman Hart, the NTSB has been working diligently for months to find this device, which could potentially hold important answers for the family and friends of El Faro’s crew and help us prevent future tragedies like this from occurring.”
The Coast Guard announced on October 5th that it believes the 790-foot cargo ship sank as a result of encountering Hurricane Joaquin on its way from Jacksonville, Florida, to San Juan, Puerto Rico. The ship had four Mainers on board, all of whom were graduates of Maine Maritime Academy (MMA) in Castine: Captain Michael Davidson of Windham, Michael Holland of Wilton, Danielle Randolph of Rockland, and Dylan Meklin of Rockland. Also on board was Mitchell Kuflik of Connecticut, who graduated from MMA in 2011.
Senator Collins cosponsored a resolution honoring the lives of the 33 lost crew members of the El Faro; recognizing the tireless search efforts conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard, Navy, and Airforce; and offering condolences to the family, friends, and loved ones of the crew.