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7th District Southeast Public Affairs
U.S. Coast Guard

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News Release

October 03, 2015

Contact: 7th Coast Guard District


Office: (305) 415-6683

UPDATE 3: Coast Guard searching for missing container ship caught in Hurricane Joaquin

A Coast Guard pilot searching for the missing El Faro container ship, near the eye of hurricane Joaquin, recounts the weather conditions Oct. 3, 2015. The Coast Guard has been searching since Oct. 1, after losing communications with the El Faro. U.S. Coast Guard video.

Click on image above for video of Coast Guard search effort

MIAMI — Coast Guard crews located a life ring belonging to the missing container ship El Faro late Saturday approximately 75 miles northeast of the ship's last know position. 

The El Faro, a 790-foot roll on, roll off, cargo ship, departed Jacksonville, Florida, Sept. 29, en route to San Juan.

A Coast Guard HC-130 search and rescue crew from Air Station Clearwater, Florida, spotted the life ring 120 nautical miles northeast of Crooked Island, Bahamas.  A Coast Guard MH-60 helicopter crew recovered the life ring and confirmed it belonged to the missing ship El Faro.

Search and rescue crews have searched more than 30,000 square-miles since Thursday.

Sea conditions in the search area today have been reported to be 20 to 40-feet with winds in excess to 100 knots.  Visibility for search and rescue flying between 500 and 1,000 feet has been reported to be less than one nautical mile at times.

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