NTSB in Jacksonville investigating El Faro

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Capt, William Hoey / marinetraffic.com / MGN

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- Investigators released new details on the tense, exhaustive search for survivors of a cargo ship that sank off the Bahamas in the middle of a hurricane.

Four men on the ship, identified as Howard Schoenly, Jeremy Riehm, Steven Shultz and Keith Griffin, were from Southwest Florida.

Tuesday night, friends of one of the missing sailors tell WINK News that just hours from now, the coast guard will officially call off the search.

On Wednesday, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will spend their first full day in Jacksonville to start investigating why El Faro set sail with Hurricane Joaquin making conditions extremely dangerous last week.

The Coast Guard says it plans to continue searching for survivors through Tuesday night.

Griffin’s wife told CNN he called the day before the ship disappeared and said he would be up late because the weather was getting bad.

Friends of Shultz said at a debriefing Tuesday evening that the president of Tote Services, the company that owns El Faro, and the Coast Guard told family members they were unable to find anything and their loved ones would not be coming home.

The NTSB held a news conference in Jacksonville and they will be looking at operations of El Faro, engineering and human and survival factors. The NTSB will also try and find the voyage data recorder on the ship which could provide new clues about what went wrong. The recorder starts pinging when it comes in contact with water and will stay on for 30 days.

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