Father of El Faro chief engineer reacts to transcript of ship's final moments

Ship's Voyage Data Recorder provided information


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The findings of the Coast Guard hearings in the sinking of the El Faro have not been released, but there is new reaction to one of the worst shipping tragedies in American history.

One of the investigators and the father of a crew member are talking about what they heard on the ships Voyage Date Recorder during the ship’s final minutes.

Much of this investigation centered around whether the ship should have even set sail given the weather, and the decision-making of the captain. All 33 crew members died when the ship sailed into the path of Hurricane Joaquin in the Caribbean and sank. Officials said the best way to learn more was to find the ship's data recorder.

Transcripts showing the conversations aboard were released.

Frank Pusatere, father of an El Faro chief engineer member Richard Pusatere, told "60 Minutes" that reading the transcript was a difficult experience for him.

"The transcript read like a suspense novel. And you were expecting--or I was expecting it to be a happy ending," Pusatere said. "But I knew going through it that what I was going to be reading was the end, of the vessel and the crew." 

Since this happened, some have called for a change in safety procedures. Some family members have asked for a Hamm alert to be implemented, named for one of the mariners. There is an online petition that asks for diversionary measures to avoid storms.


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