Sinking of the US Cargo Vessel El Faro, October 1, 2015: Illustrated Digest

This illustrated digest summarizes the critical events and decisions that led to the Oct. 1, 2015, sinking of El Faro and the loss of all 33 crewmembers. The digest also synopsizes the more than 60 recommendations issued throughout the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB’s) investigation of the sinking. The infographics and summary make for an easy-to-read digest, compared with the thousands of pages that comprise the NTSB’s final report and associated investigative documents, while still imparting potentially lifesaving information to stakeholders. While the full accident report, NTSB/MAR-17/01, available at, remains the agency’s definitive document on the investigation of the sinking, this digest provides an overview of this landmark marine accident, and a review of what government and industry can do to prevent such an accident from happening again. El Faro was traveling from Jacksonville, Florida to San Juan, Puerto Rico. The El Faro left Jacksonville without a properly functioning anemometer. Cargo was not lashed in compliance with the cargo securing manual. Cargo hold ventilation closures were open, as is normal when the vessel is at sea. The captain’s plan was to remain south of Hurricane Joaquin. The captain and chief mate agreed that El Faro’s anemometer, which measures wind direction and speed, could not be trusted. Throughout the voyage, the captain relied primarily on e-mailed files for use in the ships' onboard weather program, Bon Voyage System (BVS), rather than other available weather data, which was more current. El Faro sailed close to the hurricane’s eye before losing propulsion and sinking off the coast off the Bahamas.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Maps; Photos;
  • Pagination: 16p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01671849
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: SPC-18-01, Accident ID: DCA16MM001
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 29 2018 10:50AM