Offshore InjuryBlog

El Faro's Voice Data Recorder Finally Located

While the wreckage of the El Faro was found several months ago, there have still been many questions swirling around the cargo ship’s sinking that occurred last October. Investigators, family members, officials, and many others are hoping that the recently discovered voice data recorder (VDR) will provide more insight into the El Faro tragedy and even the missing closure that those involved are looking for.

Early Tuesday morning, a team of investigators and scientists found the long-missing data recorder in about 15,000 feet of water nearby the Bahamas. On this second search mission, they used remotely operated undersea equipment to find the voice data recorder. According to reports, the team found El Faro’s mast at around 1:00 a.m., to which the VDR was attached to. Once the team had reviewed images from the undersea search equipment, they confirmed that the VDR was present.

Combined efforts from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the National Deep Submergence Facility, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Navy, the University National Oceanographic Laboratory System, the research vessel Atlantis, and many others led to this difficult, yet successful discovery.

“Finding an object about the size of a basketball almost three miles under the surface of the sea is a remarkable achievement,” said National Transportation Safety Board.

How Can the VDR Help the El Faro Investigations?

Mounted on top of the ship’s mast, the VDR can record conversations and noises from the navigation bridge of the ship. Investigators are hoping that these recordings could give them some crucial evidence as they continue to dig deeper into the sequence of events that led up to the cargo ship’s sinking. Hearings have already taken place, which led to more questions regarding Tote's responsibility in the El Faro's sinking. 

“The more credible information we have about what happened, the closer we will get to the truth, and the closer we will get to justice for the families of those lost on the El Faro—whatever it may reveal,” said Attorney Jason Itkin.

Currently, the investigative team is working on creating a plan to recover the VDR from the underwater debris. The Atlantis is planning to stay at the site all the way through the end of the month of April. The rest of the team will depart on May 5 after capturing more photo and video of the sunken wreckage site.

Arnold & Itkin Continues to Fight for Families Impacted by El Faro

Our firm is excited about the potential new developments that the VDR discovery to lead to. As we continue to represent numerous families connected to El Faro, our dedicated offshore accident lawyers utilize a meticulous to gather as much research, evidence, and information as possible to create am effective strategy for our clients.

We will continue to stand strong for the individuals and loved ones impacted by the tragedy of the El Faro sinking, which took the lives of the 33 crewmembers on board.

Read more in this article from The St. Augustine Record.

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