Cargo shift 'probable' during El Faro's final voyage

(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) — Investigators have found that some of El Faro's heavier cargo was likely not secured properly and it is "probable" there was a cargo shift, although it cannot be determined if the shift contributed to the sinking of the ship, WOKV News reported Wednesday during the final round of Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation hearings into the tragedy.

“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,” said Capt. Phillip Anderson of the National Cargo Bureau, which put together an El Faro review at the request of the National Transportation Safety Board. “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."

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

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By Professional Mariner Staff