Offshore InjuryBlog

Blog category: "El Faro"

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El Faro
It has been well over a year since the cargo ship El Faro sank en route to Puerto Rico after getting caught in Hurricane Joaquin. The ship went down on October 1, 2015, leaving all 33 crew members missing and presumed dead—and leaving their families to wonder what happened. Jacksonivlle.com offers an update on ordeal for the surviving families. Tote Services Inc. and Tote Maritime Puerto Rico—the ...
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10 4

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El Faro
In a troubling news story, NBC is reporting that the Isla Bella, the El Faro’s replacement, may sail into Hurricane Matthew and face waves up to 20 feet tall. TOTE Maritime spoke with NBC, citing that it will be the captain’s responsibility to decide whether the ship remains in port at Puerto Rico or makes the three-day journey to Jacksonville. The company’s official statement said the following: ...
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10 3

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El Faro
In a recent article on Jacksonville.com, on the 1-year anniversary of the El Faro tragedy, the Florida Times-Union took a look at the El Faro investigation, its progress, and the fact that there may still be some time before the families (including our clients) get answers about what happened that stormy night on October 1st. Thankfully, there has still been progress. If you remember, early last ...
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Arnold & Itkin News, El Faro
The judge overseeing the El Faro case has given all parties—the vessel owners and the plaintiffs holding them accountable—until May 7 th , 2018 to prepare arguments about why Tote should or shouldn’t have limited liability protection in this case. Below, we discuss the El Faro case, how Tote is arguing for limited liability, and why this court date matters. Why This Decision Matters to Us For ...
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Aging Maritime Fleets

When it comes to aging ships, the U.S. is soon to face some serious challenges. Experts say that vessels are going to start retiring at a rate that is faster than the rate at which they can be replaced. Not only are aging ships an economic setback, but they also pose a risk to maritime workers. Offshore workers who are employed on these aging ships run a higher risk of being involved in accidents ...
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4 27

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El Faro, Boat Accident, News
Though the voice data recorder discovery was a positive step in finding out more truth about the sinking of the El Faro , the actual retrieval will likely take up to several months. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the way the VDR and four-ton mass are oriented will create some complications. Brian Curtis, Director of the NTSB Office of Marine Safety commented, “It’s clear ...
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News, Boat Accident, El Faro
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 ...
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Arnold & Itkin News, News, El Faro
TOTE has reached settlements with four more families connected to the sunken cargo ship, El Faro . Last October, 33 crew members were killed when the vessel sunk after losing propulsion in Hurricane Joaquin. During hearings it was discovered that the ship owners, TOTE, knew about the storm, the ship’s past engine problems, and had alternative routes that the cargo ship could have taken to avoid ...
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2 26

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El Faro
The initial public hearings for the investigation of the El Faro cargo ship disaster wrapped up on Friday, February 26. Arnold & Itkin is representing the families of four crew members who were among the 33 people killed when the ship sank during a hurricane last year. Over the past two weeks, the Coast Guard’s Marine Board of Investigation heard testimony regarding the disaster and the events ...
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El Faro
Today’s blog is an update on the story we posted on Tuesday. Read our previous blog for the whole story . Tuesday’s Marine Board hearing centered on Philip Morrell, vice president of marine operations at TOTE. The Coast Guard panelists questioned Morrell for nearly 8 hours about the chain of command. Their line of questioning honed in on the number of emails exchanged Captain Michael Davidson and ...
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El Faro, News
The U.S. Coast Guard has launched public hearings into the El Faro tragedy , which led to the death of all 33 crew members on board last October after the large vessel sank near the Bahamas. The hearings are intended to help the U.S. Coast Guard gather more information as to why the El Faro sank, who was responsible for the final decisions, and if any missteps led to the tragedy. Attorney Jason ...
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News, El Faro
It has been a little over four months since the El Faro went missing on October 1, 2015. Even after extensive search and investigation efforts, not all the pieces of the tragic incident have been put together. What actually caused the vessel to sink? What was going on in those last minutes amidst Hurricane Joaquin’s thrashing winds? Many believe the key to these answers is still missing—and can be ...
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11 16

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El Faro
As of today, the National Transportation Safety Board has concluded their search through the wreckage and debris field of the El Faro , the freighter that was lost at sea in early October. Unfortunately, we have received word that the NTSB’s search for the Voyage Data Recorder has ended without success . As we reported on a previous blog, the VDR is a vital part of any offshore disaster ...
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11 12

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El Faro
As of this afternoon, the National Transportation Safety Board and the U.S. Navy’s ongoing accident investigation into the El Faro case has determined the location of the bridge deck. However, the Voyage Data Recorder, normally located at the back of the navigation bridge, is missing. Now, the USNS Apache is combing the debris field for the missing recorder. The Voyage Data Recorder records data ...
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El Faro, Arnold & Itkin News
On Tuesday, November 3, our Jones Act and maritime lawyers at Arnold & Itkin LLP filed our second lawsuit for the tragic sinking of the El Faro . In this case, we are representing Patrick John Smith who is the son of Howard John Schoenly—one of the thirty-three men and women who lost their lives in this horrific offshore accident. TOTE Files to Limit Their Liability Last week, TOTE Maritime (the ...
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11 3

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El Faro, Arnold & Itkin News
Last night, Attorney Jason Itkin appeared on CNN’S Erin Burnett OutFront to discuss how the El Faro owners are attempting to limit what’s owed to the families affected by this maritime tragedy. On Friday, TOTE Maritime, the owner of the El Faro, filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court in Florida claiming they should bear no financial liability regarding the sinking of the ship. Per the ...
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El Faro, News
The team on the USNS Apache has discovered wreckage of a vessel that is mostly likely the cargo ship that went missing last month during Hurricane Joaquin. The National Transportation Safety Board is still gathering evidence and will soon be using CURV 21, a remotely operated underwater vehicle equipped with video to survey the wreckage and confirm that it is the El Faro. The wreckage was ...
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El Faro, Arnold & Itkin News
On October 28, Attorneys Kurt Arnold , Jason Itkin , and Cory Itkin of Arnold & Itkin filed suit in the 17th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida for the sinking of the El Faro cargo ship. Their suit was filed on behalf of the estate of Anthony Shawn Thomas, one of the victims aboard the ship. Thomas left behind a wife and five children. El Faro’s Voyage In the complaint, it is alleged that the El ...
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10 27

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El Faro
On October 23, the United States Naval Ship Apache arrived at the last known spot of the El Faro , the cargo ship that went missing earlier this month somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean—likely near the Bahamas. The search mission was launched by the National Transportation Safety Board last week on October 19. 33 crew members were on board the vessel when it sunk, 28 of which were American. The ...
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News, El Faro
Reports have been coming in of debris washing ashore in the Bahamas—which many believe to belong to the recently sunken El Faro. The El Faro was a cargo ship caught in the fury of Hurricane Joaquin earlier this month. When the ship suffered engine troubles and a hull breach, it was stuck in the path of the raging storm. Among some of the debris found was a large container fragment. Officials have ...
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El Faro, News, Boat Accident
The USNS Apache of the U.S. Navy departed today on a salvage mission to find the El Faro. The cargo ship carrying 28 Americans was reported missing on October 1 after it lost power on its route from Jacksonville, Florida to San Juan, Puerto Rico. The vessel reportedly sunk somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean after getting hit by Hurricane Joaquin. Investigators will be involved in the operation, ...
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10 15

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News, El Faro

El Faro Was Undergoing Engine Room Work

On Monday, October 5, the owner of El Faro, the ship that was lost during Hurricane Joaquin, announced that the vessel had been undergoing engine room work that was previously undisclosed. At a press conference, offices from Tote Inc., the ship owner, stated that an unspecified engine room had been receiving work from a repair crew as part of conversion work before being moved. The President of ...
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News, El Faro

Cargo Ship Carrying 28 Americans Still Missing

El Faro, a cargo ship carrying 28 Americans, went missing during Hurricane Joaquin; it was last heard from at approximately 7:20 a.m. on Thursday. At that time, the El Faro had sent a distress call that it was taking on water after losing power. It is believed that ship lost propulsion and was listing at 15 degrees. The El Faro was a 735-foot vessel traveling from Jacksonville, FL to San Juan in ...
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