(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) — During U.S. Coast Guard board testimony on Thursday, an attorney for El Faro owner TOTE Inc. questioned the legitimacy of a report that concluded chains or other lashings used to secure cargo on the ship failed, leading to cargo shifting, WOKV News reported.
Jeff King, addressing representatives of the National Cargo Bureau, said the bureau developed the report “in a factual vacuum.” He said there’s “no evidence whatsoever” there was a domino effect of lashings failing on El Faro, causing a progressive failure of more lashings, as the bureau's Capt. Phil Anderson testified a day earlier before the Marine Board of Investigation. El Faro sank in the Bahamas with 33 crewmembers aboard on Oct. 1, 2015, during Hurricane Joaquin.
Anderson and Capt. Edward Walker Jr. presented the findings while providing the caveat that they did not review other factors beyond cargo, including ship speed. Anderson said he didn’t want to review the ship’s voyage data recorder transcript because he didn’t want to be influenced by any statements.
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