ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
75°
Isolated Thunderstorms
H 93° L 76°
  • cloudy-day
    75°
    Current Conditions
    Isolated Thunderstorms. H 93° L 76°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    90°
    Afternoon
    Isolated Thunderstorms. H 93° L 76°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    86°
    Evening
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 93° L 76°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Local
El Faro saw 'probable' cargo shift on her final voyage
Close

El Faro saw 'probable' cargo shift on her final voyage

El Faro saw 'probable' cargo shift on her final voyage
The Coast Guard convened a second hearing session of a Marine Board of Investigation in Jacksonville, FL on the sinking of El Faro.  These photos of cargo lashing on El Yunque, the sister ship of El Faro, were taken in December 2015.

El Faro saw 'probable' cargo shift on her final voyage

The way some of El Faro’s heavier cargo was secured was likely not satisfactory on her final voyage.

The Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation working the sinking of El Faro has heard prior testimony that the way cargo was lashed on the ship was more often driven by experience than guidelines. Now, we’re learning a calculation meant to determine how certain cargo should be stored was apparently not applied, and- along with other factors- it means it’s “probable” there was a cargo shift on board.

FULL COVERAGE: El Faro sinking

At the request of the NTSB, the National Cargo Bureau put together a report reviewing El Faro’s cargo securing manual and the loading on what would become her fatal voyage. They found some inconsistencies and some areas that were confusing, but overall, it falls in line with what they see in the industry.

“If the cargo had been secured in accordance with the cargo securing manual, it would have been considered properly secured,” says NCB Chief of the Technical Department Captain Phillip Anderson.

When checking the securing arrangement by containers, Anderson says they found many stacks to be non-compliant. At this time, he says they were advised the cargo was actually secured in accordance with a one page guideline called “EL minimum lashing requirements”, although Anderson says he doesn’t know who prepared that standard and who approved it- if it was approved at all. If those guidelines are accepted, only one stack was out of compliance.

With the second deck trailer cargo, there was a “significant” amount stored off-button, or without a connection to a fixed securing point that’s generally used for this cargo. According to Anderson, there needs to be a special calculation run in order to figure out how to store this cargo properly off-button, but there was no sign that was done, so NCB ran the numbers.

“We concluded that securing may have been satisfactory for most of the cargo if lashings were properly applied, but was not likely to be satisfactory for heavier pieces off-button,” Anderson says.

He believes that cargo ultimately became a problem on the final voyage.

“We believe that it is probable that there was a cargo shift. In the event of any cargo shift, a domino effect would be likely to result in progressive lashing failure as shifting cargo overloaded adjacent lashings as the vessel rolled,” Anderson says.

The NCB could not, however, make any determination on whether the probable shift contributed to the sinking, or resulted from it.

Further, NCB determined a “tendency towards lashing not being properly applied at times”, with TOTE’s own lashing manual showing improper configurations, in Anderson’s interpretation. He says the more concerning inconsistencies in his analysis deal with the securing points on cargo and the angle of the lashing.

GALLERT: MBI exhibits show lashing

When putting together this report, the NCB used only the information they were supplied with. Anderson says he intentionally stayed away from the Voyage Data Recorder transcript and prior MBI witness testimony, because he didn’t want to be influenced by anything other than the manuals and data. The transcript showed that the crew reported containers in the water and some cars bobbing in floodwater.

Anderson says he does not consider vessel speed, weight and other similar factors in his analysis.

Anderson’s testimony was cut short Wednesday because of the late time of day, but will continue on Thursday.

WOKV will continue to follow the MBI from inside of the hearing room. Get instant updates on Twitter.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest News Headlines

  • Police in New Hampshire are investigating the death of an elderly woman whose body was discovered when the woman’s adult son had a pizza delivered to their home. The New Hampshire Union Leader reported that the woman, identified by neighbors as Florence Cotter, of Salem, was found dead around 3 p.m. Wednesday. Her son, Gary Cotter, had to be removed from the home through a hole that first responders busted through an exterior wall.  Salem police Capt. Joel Dolan told the Union Leader that a pizza delivery man called police for a welfare check after he attempted to deliver a pizza and Gary Cotter asked him to slide the pizza in through a window instead of approaching the door. Dolan told the newspaper that the delivery man could see hoarding conditions inside the home -- and Florence Cotter’s body lying on the floor. The odor of decay could also be detected near the home Wednesday, the Union Leader said.  A neighbor, Pam Avallone, told the newspaper her daughter had been home when police arrived and had watched as officers with a megaphone tried for two hours to get Gary Cotter to leave the house.  First responders ultimately busted through the wall below a window. “They had a really hard time getting him out,” Avallone told the newspaper.  Avallone said she had not seen Florence Cotter for a couple of years. Other neighbors told the Eagle-Tribune in North Andover, Massachusetts, that they has seen her outside the home earlier this year. “We thought we saw her earlier this summer on our way to the beach,” Tony Difruscia told the Eagle-Tribune. “It was a hot day and we remember questioning why an older woman like that was outside weeding.” >> Read more trending news Another neighbor, Joe Bolis, told the Union Leader that he had been delivering the Cotters’ mail and mowing their lawn for a while. He said he had also been bringing groceries to Gary Cotter through a window for about a year because Cotter had an infection in his legs.  “He’s been sick for a while,” Bolis, 80, said. He said Florence Cotter, who was in her 80s, suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.  The death investigation is being conducted by the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office in conjunction with the state police’s Major Crime Unit and the Salem Police Department, a statement on the attorney general’s website said.
  • A 22-year-old North Carolina driver has been charged with street racing and reckless driving after authorities say he reached speeds of 198 mph. William Jefferson was speeding on U.S. 1 near the Triangle Expressway in Wake County last month, WTVD reported. >> Read more trending news  According to the Highway Patrol, somebody sent a seven-minute YouTube clip shared on Facebook as part of a complaint, The News & Observer reported. “It’s one reason why I don't want my kids on the roads late at night,” Maryanne McAdams told WTVD. “I don't have a driver yet -- we're about a year away, but it's that kind of stuff that makes me really nervous.” The video shows Jefferson in his Dodge Challenger “Hellcat,” allegedly driving nearly 130 mph over the speed limit on U.S. 1, WTVD found. The video also shows Jefferson take the car over 100 mph in a 40 mph zone, police said. “I don't think that road is particularly dangerous but anybody going 198 mph and it's going to be particularly dangerous,' McAdams told WTVD. “It's really a miracle that nobody was hurt or killed in that.” Prosecutors have asked for permission to examine Jefferson’s cellphone. A search warrant was returned to the Wake County clerk’s office Wednesday, The News & Observer reported. Jefferson is expected back in court in September.
  • A McDonald’s employee in West Monroe, Louisiana is facing identity theft charges after being accused of taking photos of customer credit cards while she worked behind the front counter of the restaurant, police said. >> Read more trending news  Zynique Mitchell, 18, told officers that she took photographs of the credit cards during work and attempted to use them to purchase items online later, the Monroe News Star reported. Officers reported that photos of credit cards were found on her phone, according to court documents.  Mitchell told police she tried to use one of the cards but couldn’t complete the purchase, according to police. During the interview, officers searched Mitchell’s purse and found two unmarked pill bottles, according to court papers. Mitchell was arrested Thursday on three counts of identity theft and two counts of sale, distribution or possession of a legend drug without a prescription. She is currently in jail in lieu of a $6,500 bond.
  • Jacksonville police are working to find whoever is responsible for a deadly shooting Sunday night at an extended stay hotel near the St. Johns Town Center.   Police were called around 8pm to Extended Stay America on Skinner Lake Drive regarding a shooting.  36-year-old Cedric DeVonne Walker was found dead inside a room.  Walker’s last known address was in Brandon, near Tampa.   The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is now calling this a murder investigation.  Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is releasing a new composite image of an individual they believe has information about a murder that happened back on Sunday, February 4, 2018. Police say Cedric Devonne Walker, who was also known as Celine Walker, was found dead at the Extended Stay hotel located at 10020 Skinner Lake Drive, near the St. Johns Town Center.  According to JSO, a witness provided information about a person they say at the hotel that day, leading to the development of this composite image.  If you recognize who this person is, you're urged to contact the Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

The Latest News Videos