The U.S. Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation has scheduled the final hearing on the loss of the SIU-crewed El Faro to begin on Feb. 6 in Jacksonville, Florida.
This third hearing will examine additional data included in the investigation, primarily the information gathered from the retrieval of the vessel’s voyage data recorder (VDR). The data extracted from the VDR that will be discussed during the hearing will include the transcript of bridge audio recordings, which was released in December 2016 by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
The NTSB, which is conducting its own investigation, will participate in the upcoming hearing. In addition to reviewing information from the VDR, the hearing will also include mariner witnesses, representatives from the vessel’s owner (TOTE Inc.) and officials from the Coast Guard.
According to the official announcement, the hearing will take place at the Prime F. Osborn Convention Center, 1000 Water Street, Jacksonville, Florida 32204. For those unable to attend, the Coast Guard will be streaming the entire hearing online at livestream.com/USCGInvestigations, which also contains an archive of past hearings on the loss of the El Faro.
Look for full coverage of the hearing in the March issue of the Seafarers LOG and in the News section of the SIU website.