Tag Archives: Hurricane Joaquin

Into the Storm: The True Story of a Harrowing Ocean Rescue

The plane was cold and the engines were loud inside the cabin. Ben Cournia slipped in foam earplugs to drown out the noise. Tendrils of light were just starting to lace the morning clouds as the C-130 Hercules, gleaming white with the U.S. Coast Guard’s telltale orange bands near the cockpit and tail, climbed above Air Station Clearwater into the sky above Florida, heading south, then east. The heavy-browed Minnesotan glanced around the cabin, where guys were settling in for the three-hour flight to what had to be one of the loneliest outposts of the Coast Guard: a glorified sandbar otherwise known as Great Inagua Island, Bahamas. Their home for the last couple of weeks of September 2015. Cournia, 36 and married ten years, palmed his phone and looked at the last text from his wife: “Be safe,” she wrote. Video’s, Read the story here 15:21

One body found, empty lifeboat located in search for crew of El Faro

Image: Cargo ship El Faro missing in Hurricane JoaquinThe Coast Guard said it found the body of one crew member amid several survival suits floating amid debris from the El Faro, and crews also found one of the ship’s lifeboats, but it had no people or signs of life. The ship had two lifeboats, and each can hold 43 people. Chief Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios said the Coast Guard and the owner of the 790-foot container ship El Faro concluded that the vessel sank after debris, containers and an oil sheen were found. ‘‘We’re definitely still looking for survivors at this time,’’ Rios said. ‘‘It’s still a very active search and rescue operation.’’ Read the rest here 11:01

Bahamas search finds life ring but no other sign of El Faro

Image: Cargo ship El Faro missing in Hurricane JoaquinAn intensive search by U.S. Coast Guard and Navy aircraft has turned up a life ring but no other sign of a cargo ship with 33 people on board that lost power and communications off the southeastern Bahamas during Hurricane Joaquin. The life ring was spotted 120 miles (193 kilometers) northeast of Crooked Island, about 70 miles (113 kilometers) from the last known position of the El Faro. “While this reflects that the ship was caught in rough seas and extreme weather, it is in no way indicative of the ship’s fate,” the company said. “Small items such as life rings and life jackets are lost at sea frequently, particularly in rough weather.” Read the rest here 09:15

28 Americans aboard cargo ship missing off Bahamas after hurricane

Image: Cargo ship El Faro missing in Hurricane JoaquinThe crew of the El Faro, 28 from the U.S. and five from Poland, reported that the ship was listing at 15 degrees before they lost contact with authorities as the ship passed near the lightly populated Crooked Island at the height of the storm. The vessel carried 685 containers and had an EPIRB on board, which transmits distress signals. An initial ping was received Thursday morning, but no new ones have followed,,, Read the rest here 14:09