The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced Wednesday its intent to open the docket Dec. 13, 2016, for its investigation into the sinking of the U.S. flagged cargo ship El Faro.

The El Faro sank during Hurricane Joaquin in October 2015, and all 33 crewmembers aboard perished in the accident. The ship’s voyage data recorder was recovered from the ocean floor at a depth of about 15,000 feet, Aug. 8, 2016.

NTSB Opens Docket for El Faro Investigation

A voyage data recorder group was convened Aug. 15, to audition the ship’s VDR and to develop a detailed transcript of the sounds and discernible words captured on the El Faro’s bridge audio.

The docket will contain only factual information about weather, engineering, survival factors, and data from the El Faro’s voyage data recorder. The docket will also contain the detailed transcript from the VDR’s audio recording.

The NTSB plans to conduct a media briefing about the contents of the docket, Dec. 13, at 9:30 a.m., in the NTSB Board Room and Conference Center, 429 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Washington. Media attending the press briefing are asked to be in place by 9:15 a.m., that day.

ABOARD THE USNS APACHE, ATLANTIC OCEAN — The 6,400-pound remotely operated vehicle CURV-21 surfaces, as U.S. Navy SUPSALV and Phoenix International crewmembers prepare to bring the voyage data recorder capsule from the sunken El Faro aboard USNS Apache Aug. 8, 2016. (NTSB Photo by James Anderson)

Participating in the press briefing are:

  • NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart
  • NTSB Office of Marine Safety Director Brian Curtis
  • NTSB Office of Research and Engineering Director James Ritter.

The public docket contains only factual information collected by NTSB investigators. The public docket does not provide analysis, findings, recommendations or probable cause determinations, and as such, no conclusions about how or why an accident occurred should be drawn from the docket. Providing the docket affords the public the opportunity to see what information has been gathered about the accident.

Any analysis, findings, recommendations, or probable cause determinations related to the accident will be issued by the NTSB at a later date.

Source: NTSB