The National Transportation Safety Board has released its full report on the sinking of El Faro in October 2015.
The summary of the report reads that the Captain's insufficient action to avoid Hurricane Joaquin, his failure to use the most recent weather information, and his late decision to muster the crew.
An earlier release of documents and reports contained text messages showing the captain was aware of the impending hurricane but did not anticipate it causing too much trouble.
At the time, the captain's job with TOTE Maritime, the company that owned El Faro, was contingent on this voyage.
“The pressures that were on the captain, in particular, over his performance and the fact that he may not have a job in the future may have affected his decision making,” said Rod Sullivan, a Jacksonville maritime attorney.
Jacksonville to Puerto Rico cargo ship El Faro sinks during Hurricane Joaquin
The previous report also cited the exhaustion of the crew. El Faro’s officers worked 12-hour days while on the ship. Typical work schedules consisted of a rotation of 10 weeks on, 10 weeks off.
The final report also identifies the inadequate company oversight, flooding in cargo holds on the ship, loss of propulsion, the lack of damage control plan and lack of appropriate survival crafts.
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.