New book claims El Faro disaster was part of “larger system and culture

A newly-released book on the El Faro tragedy titled: The Captains of Thor: What Really Caused the Loss of the SS El Faro in Hurricane Joaquin, asserts that the disaster “fit into a larger system and culture”.

Author Robert R. Frump has said that the sinking of El Faro on October 1st 2015 with the loss of all 33 mariners was the result of a culture that he had been covering off and on as a journalist and author for 38 years. “It’s this system, I feel, that will result in another SS El Faro someday unless it is reformed”, Frump claimed.

Frump is a former managing editor of The Journal of Commerce.

In February, the US National Transportation Safety Board released its final report on the El Faro disaster. The NTSB concluded that the accident was attributable to the master’s decision to sail into Hurricane Joaquin, the vessel operator’s “weak” safety culture and a poor implementation of Bridge Resource Management principles.

NTSB also identified technical problems with machinery design standards for sustained angle of inclination, a central factor in the El Faro’s loss of lube oil suction and loss of propulsion; the limited protection of fire mains from impact damage in the event of a cargo shift, which was a likely factor in the flooding of El Faro’s Hold 3; and the inadequacy of El Faro’s antiquated open life boats, which were unlikely to be of assistance in a hurricane.