Transcripts from the El Faro‘s black box have been released by the National Transportation Safety Board. The recording covers the last hours of the voyage. The Inner Space Center was integral in the discovery of the black box and was praised by federal investigators.
The Inner Space Center (ISC) team has been working in conjunction with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to investigate the sinking of the El Faro cargo ship. The 790-foot cargo ship sank off the Bahamas during Hurricane Joaquin in October 2015.
NTSB has been interested in finding the “black box” (voyage data recorder) from the ship to further their investigations of the wreck. They are hoping the black box will show what was happening mechanically prior to the ship’s sinking, and also contain audio recordings of the captain and crew.
Dr. Dwight Coleman, Director of the ISC, worked with NTSB and WHOI to install telepresence technologies on WHOI’s research vessel (R/V), Atlantis. WHOI’s autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), Sentry, collected sonar data and high-resolution photographs of the ship’s 13.5-square mile debris field. The ISC’s telepresence technologies transferred these images, in real time, from the R/V Atlantis to on-shore investigators, while also allowing for quick and efficient two-way communications between those on board the ship and the team at NTSB’s headquarters in Washington, DC.
On Tuesday, April 26, 2016, the black box was located, a critical discovery. The ISC team hopes to use telepresence technologies to assist with future investigations of the El Faro cargo ship.