Armed Forces News

Ineffective safety management, a failure to uncover other deficiencies, and inadequate Coast Guard oversight all contributed to the 2015 sinking of the commercial vessel El Faro, according to the final report issued by the Coast Guard.

Thirty-three crew members died when El Faro sank near Crooked Island, Bahamas, as Hurricane Joaquin approached.

The final action memo that the Coast Guard released Dec. 21 stated that the company that owned El Faro failed to practice effective safety measures. Also, the American Bureau of Shipping should have found and resolved ongoing problems that hindered “the seaworthiness of vessels on multiple occasions,” according to a Coast Guard statement.

The service called into account its own oversight role, stating that it needs a better, more sustained oversight process.

“The loss of the El faro and its crew members was tragic and preventable. The Coast Guard will take appropriate action on all that we have learned from this investigation,” said Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft.

“The tragic story of the El Faro points to the need for a strong and enduring commitment from all elements of the safety framework,” said Rear Adm. John Nadeau, assistant Coast Guard commandant for prevention policy. “The Coast Guard takes the implementation of the safety recommendations … very seriously and is committed to providing sustainable policy, oversight, and accountability both internally and externally.”