WASHINGTON — The third and final Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation hearing is underway Monday morning in Jacksonville, Florida.
This hearing will examine additional elements of the investigation including crew witnesses, TOTE company officials, Coast Guard officials and contents of El Faro's Voyage Data Recorder, including the transcript of bridge audio recordings which was released Dec. 13, 2016, by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
The NTSB, which is conducting its own concurrent investigation, will fully participate in the Marine Board of Investigation hearings.
The 790-foot freighter sank in October 2015 after losing propulsion while traveling between Jacksonville and San Juan, Puerto Rico. The ship got caught in 155 mph winds and strong seas of Hurricane Joaquin. All 33 people on board died, including a crew member from Virginia Beach.
In December, the National Transportation Safety Board released transcripts of audio from the vessel's voyage data recorder.
The recorder captured the crew's final moments before the ship sank, including comments that expressed concern over the captain's decision to continue sailing toward a strengthening Hurricane Joaquin.