Obama promises full support for probe into the lost El Faro ship

2015-10-08 11:18
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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Jacksonville - President Barack Obama is promising the "full support of the US government" as officials investigate the sinking of the cargo ship El Faro.

In a statement issued on Wednesday evening, Obama said the families of the crew members lost at sea deserve answers, and those who work at sea must be kept safe.

Obama noted that the crew of men and women included Americans and Poles, and that the tragedy serves as a reminder that the American economy depends on those who serve on ships like the El Faro. He offered a pray for their families to find comfort.

The vessel sank last week during Hurricane Joaquin.

The Coast Guard said its search ended on Wednesday evening for the 33 missing crew members.

The 240m cargo ship sank off the Bahamas during Hurricane Joaquin, a Category 4 storm with 140km/h winds that was producing 15m waves.

Officials say the ship's captain had plans to go around the storm as he headed from Jacksonville, Florida, to Puerto Rico but the El Faro suffered unexplained engine failure that left it unable to avoid the storm.

The Coast Guard had searched across a 300-square-kilometre expanse of Atlantic Ocean near Crooked Island in the Bahamas. Searchers found a body in a survival suit, but were unable to retrieve it. They also found an empty life raft, empty survival suits, a life ring and other debris.

The water in the area is 4 572m deep.

Read more on:    barack obama  |  us  |  maritime  |  weather

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