El Faro widow calls husband's helmet 'sign of grace'

Helmet believed to belong to crew member washed ashore on Ormond Beach

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A green work helmet that washed ashore on Ormond Beach in December is believed to belong to El Faro crew member Frank Hamm III.

Hamm's widow, Rochelle Hamm, said there's no doubt in her mind that the helmet belonged to her husband.

The person who found it recently met with Rochelle Hamm to give her the helmet.

"That's my baby's helmet," Rochelle Hamm told News4Jax Friday.

The cargo ship El Faro sank in October during a hurricane while en route to Puerto Rico. All 33 crew members on board were killed.

Rochelle Hamm, who has been mourning the loss of her husband and the father of their three children, said the last nine months have been a time of adjustment and pain for her family.

"We had the holidays, Frank wasn't home. Birthdays, wedding anniversary, all of those things. My daughter graduated. She won prom queen and everything and it was very hard," Rochelle Hamm said.

She said when she holds the helmet, she feels that wherever Frank is, God is with him. 

"This is actually for me. It says that God has the last answer and it's not over until he says so. And my faith and hope level have just shot up again," Rochelle Hamm said. 

Rochelle Hamm said the helmet is a sign that her husband of 19 years is still very much a part of her life.

"If I clean this up, it doesn't even look like it's been through a storm at all. It's in one piece. It's not disfigured, anything. So it's a sign of survival and it's a sign of grace and mercy," Rochelle Hamm said.

Rochelle Hamm said she plans to take the helmet back to her pastor in her hometown of Baltimore. Then, she said she will have it encased in glass in the exact condition she received it in.