USA TODAY – SUSAN MILLER
Mistakes by the captain of the El Faro led to the sinking of the cargo ship and the deaths of the entire crew of 33, according to a Coast Guard report released Sunday — two years to the day after the tragedy.
Capt. Michael Davidson misjudged the strength of Hurricane Joaquin and should have changed the El Faro’s route to avoid the storm’s brutal,150 mph winds, the report said. When the ship got stuck, Davidson should have taken more aggressive measures to save it, the report added.
The ship’s owner, TOTE Maritime Inc., had not replaced a safety officer, spreading out those duties among other managers, and had violated regulations regarding crew rest periods and working hours, according to the report.
“This tragedy never should have happened,” U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said in a statement after the report was released. “The findings in this report will serve as a roadmap for how we can prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again.”