Three miles under the water’s surface, on the quiet bed of the Atlantic Ocean, an enormous American cargo ship came to its final resting point.
El Faro sank to the bottom of the sea after it sailed straight into a hurricane in 2015. All 33 crew members died—one of the worst tragedies in modern maritime history.
Journalist Rachel Slade has painstakingly reconstructed El Faro’s final voyage from Jacksonville to Puerto Rico. Among other points of failure, she found that the ship, which was carrying 25 million pounds of cargo, was equipped only with open lifeboats, an old and unsafe style that hasn’t been allowed on new ships since 1986.
Shipping companies had lobbied hard against making the costly upgrade for older vessels, one of the factors that condemned these 33 people to a watery grave.
By shining a light on the world of sea shipping and its dangers, Slade has helped pave the way for industry reform. Learn about this terrible tragedy and its aftermath with our Instaread on Into the Raging Sea.