33 crew members of cargo ship believed lost at sea
No word from El Fargo since Hurricane Joaquin encounter
After the discovery over the weekend of a 225-square-mile debris field containing the remains of the cargo ship El Fargo, the U.S. Coast Guard said it will continue to search for survivors.
The El Fargo had 33 crewmen aboard. Their families have been notified.
Taking on water
New sources report that the ship issued a distress call as it sailed through the Bahamas – and into Hurricane Joaquin - indicating that it had lost power and was taking on water. The Coast Guard’s search encompassed 70,000 square nautical miles.
Among the 28 Americans on board were Jeremy Riehm, 46, and Steven Shultz, 51, both of Florida, according to NBC affiliate WBBH. A third American was identified as Keith Griffin. Other missing American crew members include 51-year-old Mariette Wright, engineer Mike Holland and Second Mate Danielle Randolph.
A life ring
Wood, cargo, an oil sheen and a life ring from the El Faro were found 120 miles northeast of Crooked Islands, approximately 75 miles north of the ship’s last known location.
Phil Greene, president and CEO of TOTE Services, Inc., said the El Faro has been in service for many years and was built to work in the rough seas off Alaska. "She is a sturdy, rugged vessel that was well maintained and that the crew members were proud of."