Today, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will release a transcript of the S.S. El Faro’s voyage data recorder (VDR), in addition to several other factual reports, to the docket for its investigation into the October 1, 2015, sinking of the vessel. To date, the Coast Guard has conducted two rounds of public hearings as part of our Marine Board of Investigation into the loss of El Faro, and a third hearing is scheduled for Feb. 2017, in Jacksonville. This final hearing session will examine additional elements of the investigation, including but not limited to questions arising from the contents of the El Faro’s VDR, as well as additional witnesses such as former crewmembers, TOTE company officials, Coast Guard personnel and others.
The National Transportation Safety Board recently released a safety study of the Coast Guard’s Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) program. The Coast Guard fully supported this effort and appreciates the comprehensive work done by the NTSB. The Coast Guard will evaluate and use the results to improve the effectiveness of VTS nationwide.
The Coast Guard’s Office of Investigations and Casualty Analysis provided an update on Coast Guard oversight of parasailing operations.