NTSB confident about recovering valuable data for El Faro’s black box

The VDR is secured to El Faro's mast, 15,000 ft. beneath the surface

Even though El Faro’s voyage data recorder rests 15,000 ft. under the surface in the Bahamas, investigators are confident data and possible audio recordings about the ship’s sinking can be recovered.

The voyage data recorded may be able to fill in the blanks about the ship’s sinking during Hurricane Joaquin, which killed the 33 member crew last October.

VIDEO: Clips from the search for El Faro's VDR

The first mission to recover the VDR by the National Transportation Safety Board was unsuccessful, and another trip won’t be conducted for the next 2-3 months. Still, investigators are confident and optimistic the VDR will prove helpful, since it is capable of withstanding depths of 20,000 ft.

The VDR was secured to El Faro’s mast after being found near the ship’s wreckage last week. Investigators say, the hard part of finding the small object is over and retrieval should be fairly straightforward with the right equipment.

FULL COVERAGE: El Faro sinking

The Coast Guard will be holding a second session of a Marine Board of Investigation into El Faro’s sinking May 16-27 in Jacksonville. A third session will be announced to examine the contents extracted from the VDR.

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