Congressional investigation into El Faro sinking

Two years and several investigations after cargo ship El Faro sank in the Caribbean during Hurricane Joaquin on October 1st 2015, US Congress’s  House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation  has begun an investigation into whether new legislation is required.

The National Transportation Safety Board and US Coast Guard said that the sinking of El Faro and death of all 33 crew members were the result of lax corporate safety culture, inadequate ship inspections and poor decisions by Captain Michael Davidson.

Both the NTSB and USCG recommended the elimination of an exemption for older ships which permits them to use the old design of open lifeboats instead of newer covered models. However, this would require federal legislation House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation chairman Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-California) has expressed an interest in potential legislation.