Missing Ship El Faro Likely Sank, One Body and Battered Lifeboat Found

Kimberly RipleyLife

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The missing ship El Faro is likely gone, and the chance of finding survivors is growing increasingly bleak. One body and a battered lifeboat was found Sunday, turning the search for the missing ship and its crew into a recovery mission.

The missing cargo ship last communicated with the mainland on Thursday, en route to San Juan, Puerto Rico. At that time "the captain reported that the ship was beset by Hurricane Joaquin north of San Salvador Island in the Bahamas, had lost power and was listing at 15 degrees. He also reported the ship had been taking on water but that the flooding had been contained."

There were 33 people aboard the missing ship--four of them from Maine, including the captain, Michael Davidson of Windham, Maine. The four from Maine are graduates of Maine Maritime Academy.

Early Monday morning, Maine Maritime Academy President William Brennan sent a statement to the academy’s community members.

“I continue to feel hopeful and to remember that the crew is experienced and highly trained in survival at sea. Our hearts go out to the loved ones of all of the crew members who are waiting for news,” the statement reads.

“If, in the next 24 to 48 hours, we need to come together as a community, we will communicate via multiple channels,” Brennan wrote. “In the meantime, I am still hopeful that this situation will have a positive outcome, and am holding that hope for our community, as I know you are, too.”

Family members of some of the missing ship's crew gathered in Jacksonville, Florida this weekend, awaiting word about their loved ones.

The human remains found Sunday were unrecognizable, but clothed in a survival suit.

U.S. Coast Guard Captain Mark Fedor held a news briefing in Miami earlier on Monday.

“We are not looking for the vessel any longer,” Fedor said. “We are looking for potential people in the water, lifeboats and life rafts.”

Hopefully there are at least some survivors from this missing ship.

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.