(NEW YORK) — Relatives of the 33 crew members who are missing after a cargo ship sank near the path of Hurricane Joaquin said the search for the crew members will be suspended on Wednesday.
The U.S. Coast Guard has been in charge of the search for survivors and relatives of the missing confirmed that they had been told by authorities that the search will stop at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
The ship, called El Faro, sent a distress signal Thursday morning but no rescue boats were able to get close to the ship because weather conditions at the time were so harrowing due to the hurricane.
The storm impacted the search for the survivors as well since Hurricane Joaquin stayed in the area through much of Friday and into Saturday, meaning that the first full day of search and rescue did not start until Sunday, Coast Guard chief of response Capt. Mark Fedor said on Monday.
During that time, rescue teams did find one body in a survival suit, but it was “unidentifiable.”
That person’s remains were not recovered, as Fedor said that the rescuers were being called to other reports of signs of life, so after checking that the individual was deceased, they moved on in hopes of saving someone else, Fedor said Monday.
During a Wednesday press conference, U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Mark Fedor said that the ship’s topside hatch was allowing water in, causing the ship to list to one side. He did not, however, have information related to why the hatch would have been open.
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