Debris discovered as search continues for missing cargo ship

Search and rescue operation spearheaded by the US Coast Guard (USCG) has discovered debris that could potentially be from the missing US-flagged ro-ro cargo ship El Faro, reports said.

The 1975-built, 790-teu El Faro, carrying 33 people onboard, went missing near the Bahamas on 1 October as Hurricane Joaquin passed over its path as it headed to San Juan, Puerto Rico from Jacksonwille.

The discovery of the debris on Sunday consisted of styrofoam, wood, cargo and other items, according to the USCG.

The search also found other items such as life jackets and containers.

TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico, which owns the ship, said it has been working closely with the USCG to try to establish communication with the ship.

The USCG has dispatched planes and rescue vessels to comb a vast 850 square nautical mile area.

Tim Nolan, president of TOTE Maritime, said its second ship El Yunque and a contracted tugboat have reached the area between the last known vicinity of the El Faro and the location that the USCG recovered a life ring

“The two vessels discovered a container, which appears to be from the El Faro, and observed what appears to be an oil sheen. The contracted tugs as well as other vessels transiting the area are also keeping a lookout for any sign of the ship,” Nolan said. 

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