by Staff Writers
Miami (AFP) Feb 17, 2016
The captain of the doomed El Faro asked his bosses if he could change his route the day before the US cargo ship sank near the Bahamas, it has emerged.
The ship's owners TOTE Maritime shed responsibility, telling US Coast Guard investigators Tuesday that Michael Davidson did not need to ask permission before taking a slower route.
El Faro sank when it was caught by Hurricane Joaquin on October 1, killing its entire crew of 33 people, mostly Americans and five Poles.
The ship, in operation for four decades and measuring 790 feet (240 meters) long, was transporting several hundred shipping containers and automobiles from Jacksonville, Florida to San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The families of 10 sailors who died in the tragedy accepted a settlement of $500,000 each, while families of the remaining victims have filed complaints with TOTE Maritime.
But the captain's message to change route was no more than a courtesy, as management does not make such decisions, TOTE vice president of marine operations Phil Morrell told the coast guard investigators.
"He does not need permission to ask, he only has to advise us if he's making a change of course. It's more or less a one-way conversation," Morrell said.
Morrell insisted the ship's route was the captain's "total responsibility," adding that such changes in trajectory, which cause a delay in deliveries, were common for cargo ships.
Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board found the ship's wreckage some 15,000 feet (4,500 meters) below the ocean surface, but it was missing the black box that could have provided more information about the accident.
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|