Last week, officials boarded the El Faro’s sister ship as part of their search for the El Faro wreckage. The search team is looking for the El Faro’s voyage data recorder in hopes that it will reveal what happened to the El Faro after it departed Jacksonville on September 29.
Dennis Bryant, principal consultant at Bryant’s Maritime Consulting, recently spoke to Action News Jax, a local news station in Jacksonville, Florida. Bryant said the voyage data recorder (VDR) will ping for about 30 days, after it hits the water.
Officials believe the El Faro sank off the coast of the Bahamas and in a race against time, are searching the area for the VDR, hoping to find it before its battery runs outs. The VDR was attached to the bridge area of the El Faro, and if the wreckage is located, will have to be retrieved by a remotely operated robot.
Currently, the team searching for the wreckage is focusing its efforts on retrieving the VDR because the device will contain information about the El Faro’s speed, position, and communications.
Locating the ship’s wreckage could take an estimated two months at a cost of $1 million or more. If the VDR’s battery runs out before the wreckage is located, the search team will utilize other types of technology to determine what caused the maritime accident.