02:06 - Source: CNN
Following the fated El Faro

Story highlights

NTSB says wreckage found is consistent with long cargo ship

El Faro disappeared near Bahamas

Thirty-three people were aboard

CNN  — 

The wreckage of a cargo ship believed to be the El Faro has been located by a U.S. Navy search team in about 15,000 feet of water, the National Transportation Safety Board said Saturday night.

How does guard search for missing ships

The 40-year-old U.S.-flagged El Faro was headed to Puerto Rico from Jacksonville, Florida, and went missing near the Bahamas on October 1 with 33 people on board.

“The target identified by Orion (side-scan radar) is consistent with a 790-foot cargo ship, which from sonar images appears to be in an upright position and in one piece,” the NTSB said.

Stories of the El Faro’s crew

The NTSB said the USNS Apache crew found the wreckage at 1:36 p.m. ET.

The Navy, which has been searching for the El Faro since October 23, plans to send a remotely-operated vehicle named CURV 21 to investigate the wreckage on Sunday. The CURV 21 has video equipment that will help identify the vessel.

The 40-year-old U.S.-flagged El Faro never made it to Puerto Rico after it left Jacksonville, Florida.

Why was the ship so close to Hurrican Joaquin?

In a recorded call, the ship’s captain reported a marine emergency early on October 1. Capt. Michael Davidson said the hull had been breached, a scuttle blown open, and water had entered El Faro.

The ship is believed to have sunk some 35 miles northeast of Crooked Island in the Bahamas as Hurricane Joaquin, a slow-moving Category 4 hurricane, raged in the region. Debris had washed up last week in the Bahamas, leading searchers to believe they were looking in the right area.