Thread Tools
Oct 09, 2015, 04:40 PM
Registered User
Libelle201B's Avatar
Thread OP
Discussion

El Faro, what went wrong?


Having been around and on the ocean for a good part of my life and seeing the true power of more than 4 or 5 hurricanes since the 60's it's hard for me to understand how a seasoned ships captain could have made such a deadly mistake as to head into the direct path of a cat 3 hurricane. This link explains some of the possibilities, but even then it just doesn't make sense. Even one crew member knew they were headed strait into the storm based on one e mail to her mother, so I would assume all the others did too. This almost seems like some of the plane crashes we hear about where the subordinate officers are reluctant or afaid to confront their captain even if they know something is very wrong or about to go wrong. A real tragedy, the worst for US shipping since the Edmond Fitzgerald if I'm not mistaken.
"The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" - Gordon Lightfoot (HD w/ Lyrics) (6 min 40 sec)


http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/...0S22W320151008
Oct 09, 2015, 04:53 PM
Vertical Wake
splatman's Avatar
Why, I don't know. But I bet they lost a hatch and down-flooded.
Oct 09, 2015, 05:06 PM
Registered User
Libelle201B's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by splatman
Why, I don't know. But I bet they lost a hatch and down-flooded.
Depending on how much cargo these container ships are carrying they present a huge surface area to any wind, particularly from the sides. Given the ship had lost power it was unsteerable and in 120 mph winds and 50' seas my guess is some of these containers may have broken loose making the ship very top heavy to begin with and now very unstable. At some point the crew knew they were in serious trouble but I'm sure it would be nearly impossible to safely launch the life boats even if they tried in such conditions and by then it was to late.
Oct 09, 2015, 05:09 PM
Vertical Wake
splatman's Avatar
Do you know what the cargo was? I thought I had heard it, but can't remember.
Oct 09, 2015, 05:14 PM
Vertical Wake
splatman's Avatar
And losing you engine in that kind of weather is almost an automatic death sentence.
Oct 09, 2015, 05:21 PM
GTH NFL
Park_Flyer's Avatar
It sank.
Oct 09, 2015, 05:39 PM
DS JUNKY
From what I understand they were planning to sail around the hurricane with plenty of room to spare but after losing all engine power they became a sitting duck. Sad story .
Oct 09, 2015, 06:11 PM
Registered User
Libelle201B's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by splatman
Do you know what the cargo was? I thought I had heard it, but can't remember.
So far I haven't read anything about that.
We recently went on a cruise to the Bahamas and hurricane Ida was getting very close so our course was changed , twice. On the second day we left Nassau and the winds really picked up as we were leaving port. Although the seas weren't very rough IMO there were quite a few passengers that did get seasick and barf bags were distributed all over the ship.
Oct 09, 2015, 06:31 PM
Registered User
Dave Barrow's Avatar
Utter stupidity to sail off into the direction a Hurricane, no matter what was planned to do before it got to you.
Oct 09, 2015, 06:35 PM
Registered User
I wondered the very same thing. Why in the world would a captain with a functioning brain steer toward a hurricane? And further more I am sure the captain takes his orders from some company man as to when and where to go. So strange.
Oct 09, 2015, 06:39 PM
It's gonna be YUGE!!!
LVsoaring's Avatar
Sadly, this is no different than the armchair quarterbacking we see after any major airplane accident. Having said that, this is what I have heard reported.

1) When the El Faro set sail, the storm was nowhere near the intensity it became just 1 day later.
2) When they set sail, they had planned to circumvent the storm as necessary to avoid the worst of it.
3) They lost propulsion and steering capability, rendering the ability to avoid the storm impossible.

Since that's about all I know, and even at that, only because that's what's been reported, I am rather reluctant to use words like "utter stupidity" to describe the decision to begin the voyage when they did. I'll be interested to read the NTSB report to get the full story.
Oct 09, 2015, 06:39 PM
GTH NFL
Park_Flyer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by splatman
Do you know what the cargo was? I thought I had heard it, but can't remember.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Libelle201B
So far I haven't read anything about that.
We recently went on a cruise to the Bahamas and hurricane Ida was getting very close so our course was changed , twice. On the second day we left Nassau and the winds really picked up as we were leaving port. Although the seas weren't very rough IMO there were quite a few passengers that did get seasick and barf bags were distributed all over the ship.
Vehicles, trailers, and dozens of shipping containers.
Oct 09, 2015, 11:29 PM
Registered User
HELModels's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by BE77 Pilot
I wondered the very same thing. Why in the world would a captain with a functioning brain steer toward a hurricane? And further more I am sure the captain takes his orders from some company man as to when and where to go. So strange.
Pretty much. If the engines didn't quit it'd be in San Juan unloadied and taking its next load and nobody would be talking about it. Stuff happens and best not be in natures way when it does.
Oct 09, 2015, 11:59 PM
Registered User
Sounds like the engines worked well into the storm. I believe he thought the storm was going to track farther north. When it turned towards him, he must not have wanted to turn around. Gambled and lost.
Oct 10, 2015, 08:43 AM
It's gonna be YUGE!!!
LVsoaring's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roto Rob
Sounds like the engines worked well into the storm. I believe he thought the storm was going to track farther north. When it turned towards him, he must not have wanted to turn around. Gambled and lost.
I've not heard about that. Very interesting if true. Link?


Quick Reply
Message:

Thread Tools