An underwater remotely controlled vehicle and a towed hydrophone to listen for pings from the El Faro’s “black box” are among the equipment the U.S. Navy will deploy next week on the ocean tugboat USNS Apache to assist in the search for the 790-foot cargo ship that went missing Oct. 1 in Hurricane Joaquin.

The National Transportation Safety Board announced Thursday that it had contracted the U.S Navy Salvage and Diving division of Naval Sea Systems Command to join the search for the ship and her crew of 33, including four Maine natives, all presumed lost.

The USNS Apache will leave Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia, next week to search an area of about 100 square miles off Crooked Island, Bahamas, the last known location of the El Faro, according to NAVSEA spokesman Chris Johnson.

The El Faro left Jacksonville for Puerto Rico on Sept. 29, and last communicated with the mainland at 7:20 a.m. Oct. 1, when the captain reported that the cargo carrier had lost propulsion and was listing by 15 degrees.

An intense U.S. Coast Guard search turned up one body in a lifesuit, presumed to be from the El Faro, as well as a heavily damaged lifeboat. The Coast Guard suspended its search for survivors on Oct. 8.

The Salvage and Diving team will use sophisticated equipment including the CURV-21 Remotely Operated Vehicle, or ROV, and ORION towed side-scan sonar, both capable of operating at a depth of 20,000 feet, and the Towed Pinger Locator 25, a towed hydrophone that listens for sounds emanating from El Faro’s voyage data recorder, or “black box,” Johnson said.

“If they’re able to detect a signal from the black box, and even if they can’t but are relatively confident of the location, they’ll have the underwater side-scan sonar, which makes a sonar map of the ocean floor, which will help us pinpoint signs of the wreckage,” he said.

The underwater ROV includes still and video cameras as well as tools to help it manipulate objects under water.

“For example, if we can locate the bridge of the ship and we’re in a position to get equipment inside of it, we could go in and remove the voyage data recorder,” Johnson said.

The tug is part of the Navy fleet but operated by civilian mariners. Along with the salvage and diving team, the Apache will carry officials from the National Transportation Safety Board, the American Bureau of Shipping and Navy contractors.

Johnson said the tug is expected to arrive in the search area mid-week.