JACKSONVILLE, Florida — A second set of hearings to figure out why the cargo ship El Faro sank is underway.
The cargo ship was carrying 33 crew members on board, including four from Maine.
The Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation first interviewed people in Jacksonville, Florida, in February. The board is looking at all facts available to try to answer the question about why the El Faro sank and whether negligence may have been a factor.
The ship went down last October near Crooked Island in the Bahamas with 33 crew members on board. The ship was on its way from Florida to Puerto Rico.
Investigators said it experienced a mechanical issue and ended up directly in the path of Hurricane Joaquin.
Last month, the ship’s voyage data recorder was found on the ocean floor but not recovered. Over the next two weeks, investigators will interview people familiar with the ship’s overall stability and how they planned their routes based on weather forecasts.
On Monday a former El Faro captain was asked whether he thought the ship was at risk.
“To me the El Faro was a Cadillac,” Capt. Eric Axelsson said. “She rode well, she handled well. She wasn’t vulnerable.”
Axelsson, who seemed confrontational at times, said he never ran the ship in conditions as bad as what he believes they would’ve been in Hurricane Joaquin’s path. On Tuesday, a hurricane specialist is scheduled to be interviewed.