New hearings to probe for more details of El Faro sinking

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A second round of investigative hearings into the sinking of the freighter El Faro will seek new information about the vessel’s stability and whether there were mistakes in weather forecasting or cargo loading before the ship’s final voyage.

The U.S. Coast Guard’s Marine Board of Investigation begins questioning witnesses Monday in Jacksonville, Florida. The ship lost propulsion and sank after getting caught in a Category 4 hurricane last October, killing all 33 aboard.

Search crews recently discovered the El Faro’s voyage data recorder in 15,000 feet of water, but couldn’t recover it.

The National Transportation Safety Board is planning a recovery mission for the device, which could hold recordings from the bridge.

The Coast Guard says a future round of hearings will explore the recorder’s data if the device is recovered.