Testimony: El Faro boiler parts had ‘deteriorated severely’

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Capt, William Hoey / marinetraffic.com / MGN

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) – Testimony at a Coast Guard hearing shows that an assessment of the El Faro’s boilers found parts that had “deteriorated severely” or needed to be replaced, but company engineers believed it was still safe enough to set sail before being serviced.

Director of ship management for Tote Services Inc. John Fisker-Andersen testified Friday before a U.S. Coast Guard investigative board that the boiler issues on the ship were normal wear and tear.

The 790-foot El Faro sank in Hurricane Joaquin on Oct. 1 after losing propulsion while sailing from Jacksonville to Puerto Rico. All 33 crew aboard died.

The 40-year-old vessel’s boilers were scheduled for service a month after its ill-fated voyage.

Fisker-Andersen testified that he saw nothing in the boiler reports that would cause a cancellation of the voyage.

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