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Managed by Paul J. Loftus, a partner at Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, Transportation Law Today provides professionals in the rail, transit, inland maritime, and trucking industries with current news and analysis of laws, rulings, and regulatory policies.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Coast Guard to Suspend El Faro Search - NTSB to Lead Investigation

At a joint press conference this afternoon, the Coast Guard announced its plans to suspend its search efforts related to the loss of the El Faro container ship, after 7 days of active search efforts.  According to Coast Guard officials, the Coast Guard never had any direct contact with the missing vessel, but was only provided its approximate position at the time of the last contact between the vessel and the owner, TOTE Maritime.  Attempts to make contact with the ship by Air Force Hurricane Hunter Aircraft and other vessels in the general vicinity of the El Faro when it reported loss of power were unsuccessful.
The NTSB also announced that although both it and the Coast Guard have authority to conduct marine casualty investigations, the NTSB would be the lead investigative agency and that under its investigative procedures, it would determine probable cause of the accident.  "Parties" to the NTSB investigation were named as the Coast Guard, the American Bureau of Shipping, and TOTE Maritime. 
A link to the NSTB page detailing its on-scene efforts for the investigation is attached here.

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