Debris from missing El Faro cargo ship washes ashore

20 November 2015 (Last Updated November 20th, 2015 05:02)

Debris from the TOTE Maritime's cargo ship El Faro, which disappeared during Hurricane Joaquin, has washed ashore in the Bahamas.

Debris from the TOTE Maritime's cargo ship El Faro, which disappeared during Hurricane Joaquin, has washed ashore in the Bahamas.

A refrigeration unit from the cargo ship has floated up on a beach in San Salvador and Exhuma, Bahamas, reported WJAX.

Syringes, toiletries, tennis shoes, shaving cream and containers filled with a coloured liquid were also found on the beach, reported the publication.

"The week-long search operation by the Coast Guard yielded no progress except discovering an unidentifiable body."

However, the US Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) officials are yet to confirm that the debris is from the El Faro although the serial number matches with that of the container loaded on to the cargo ship.

On Monday, the US Navy launched salvage operations to locate the wreckage of El Faro.

The USNS Apache departed for Crooked Islands, near the Bahamas, which was the last known position of the ship, to locate the ship and retrieve its data recorders.

The ship enroute from Jacksonville, Florida to San Juan, Puerto Rico, departed on 29 September with the vessel's officers and crew monitoring the tropical storm Joaquin, which later turned into a hurricane.

After a search operation covering over 172,000nm², the US Coast Guard concluded that the ship sank near the Bahamas, and suspended the search for survivors, in order to focus on finding the ship and voyage data recorder to ascertain the reasons for the tragedy.

The week-long search operation by the Coast Guard yielded no progress except discovering an unidentifiable body.

Consequently, the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) launched an investigation into the incident and is trying to recover the missing vessel's data recorders.