On September 30, 2015, the United States-flagged cargo ship El Faro left Jacksonville, Florida. Its destination? San Juan, Puerto Rico. Its cargo? 391 shipping containers. Its crew? 33, including 28 Americans and five Poles.
Tragically, the El Faro never reached San Juan. The ship sank on October 1 with all hands lost, devastated by the force of Hurricane Joaquin. It was one of the worst maritime disasters in the recent history of US shipping.
And now, family members want answers. Lawsuits are pending against TOTE Maritime, which owned the ship and is now taking its own actions to try and stave off liability.
Miami maritime lawyer Jack Hickey has sent his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives aboard the El Faro. And he stands ready to help any family that wants to discuss possible legal action.
If you've lost family members in the El Faro tragedy, Mr. Hickey wants to help you. Please call The Hickey Law Firm, P.A. today at 855-375-3727 for a free consultation.
At the time the El Faro set sail, Joaquin was a tropical storm on the verge of becoming a full-fledged hurricane. However, it had become a category 4 hurricane by the time the El Faro had reached the Bahamas.
A category 4 hurricane is a monster, a devastating combination of wind and rain that can wreck even the sturdiest of ships. According to some of the ship's last transmissions, the El Faro was trapped by huge waves and wind that reached 125 miles per hour.
The ship listed 15 degrees and took on water. The engines failed. The crew sent a distress signal. And that was the last anyone heard from the El Faro.
This is the basic story. But it leaves some heartbreaking questions. Why was the ship travelling with such a dangerous storm so close? Who was ultimately responsible for a course change made in the middle of the voyage? And what about the allegations of a shoddy maintenance record?
A handful of families have already filed suit against TOTE, which has already filed its own suit to prevent future claims. A judge still has to rule on that action.
But we urge any families to speak with our attorney about your options. Mr. Hickey has decades of experience in complicated maritime law and is an acknowledged expert in these cases.
If you lost a family member aboard the El Faro, we want to hear your story and talk about your options. Please call The Hickey Law Firm, P.A. today at 855-375-3727 or contact us online for a free consultation.