The U.S. Coast Guard is holding out hope of finding survivors from the cargo ship El Faro after finding a huge debris field believed to be from the vessel carrying 33 crew members, reported ABC News
The ship, which left Jacksonville, Florida on Tuesday for San Juan, Puerto Rico, was reported missing Thursday morning close to Crooked Island in the eastern Bahamas, said WFOX-TV.
ABC News reported that the El Faro made the trip at the time Hurricane Joaquin was in Bahamas for much of Thursday and Friday and its route would have taken it close to the edge of the storm.
Coast Guard Capt. Mark Fedor told a news conference Monday that rescue crews found one emergency rescue suit that had "unidentifiable" human remains, according to ABC News. Fedor said at the news conference that that person's remains were not recovered, noted ABC News.
He added that the Coast Guard was responding Monday to other reports of possible signs of life, so after checking that the individual was deceased, they moved on in hopes of saving someone else, wrote ABC News.
"We needed to quickly move to other reports of life," Fedor said at the news conference. "We will remain hopeful that we... will find survivors. That is our main focus as we move forward."
WFOX-TV reported that family members of the El Faro crew questioned why the ship was allowed to leave in the first place knowing that a hurricane was in the area.
"The captain knew the conditions and communicated back to our headquarters, the conditions were, as he saw them then, favorable," Phil Greene, of Tote Services and Tilt Co., told WFOX-TV. "He was very confident the ship was doing well, the crew was quite up to date."
ABC News said The El Faro sent out a distress signal at 7:20 a.m. Thursday, stating that it had lost electricity and was taking on water, which was its last communication.
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