Containership SS El Faro is halfway into its run from Jacksonville, Florida to San Juan, Puerto Rico, carrying 12,000 tons of cargo. The massive 790-foot vessel is built for rough weather, but it’s about to meet its match in the form of Category 3 hurricane Joaquin. After the 33-person crew loses a battle against 115-MPH winds and 26-foot swells, the U.S. Coast Guard and NTSB join forces to find out why the ship sailed straight towards the eye of the storm.
Passenger ferry MS Norman Atlantic is fighting its way through a brutal winter storm when, just a few hours into its 20-hour journey from Greece to Italy, the vessel bursts into flames. With a crew poorly trained to handle emergencies and some of the life rafts destroyed by fire or launched too soon, passengers are left to fend for themselves against a growing inferno. Follow the events of the 2014 maritime disaster as they unfold, including the investigation to find out what started the fire and why it spread so quickly.
The Queen of the North is British Columbia Ferry Services’ crown jewel, a luxurious, 410-foot ship that cruises the rocky islands lining the west coast of Canada. But on March 21, 2006, disaster strikes when the passenger ferry strays off course, hits an island, and fills with icy water. Two passengers are never found, and Canada’s Transportation Safety Board immediately launches an investigation. Facts are hard to come by, but rumors of an extramarital affair between two of the bridge crew spark a surprising theory about the ship’s final moments.
Thousands of vessels are lured to Alaska’s Bering Sea every year by the lucrative fishery. But the weather and seas can be rough, and for one trawler in 2001, they were even deadly. The speed at which the Arctic Rose sank on April 2nd stunned the fishing industry; there wasn’t even time for its captain to issue a mayday call. This prompted the Coast Guard to launch its highest level of investigation. Together with the NTSB, they needed to discover why the ship sank so fast in order to prevent a similar disaster from happening again.
The fishing boat Lady Mary and her crew are hauling scallops in near-freezing waters off the shores of New Jersey in 2009. On their final night, something goes wrong, and the vessel suddenly begins to sink. The freezing waters, coupled with a delayed response from the Coast Guard, lead to the death of six of the seven men onboard. It’s up to the Coast Guard to find out what happened and why emergency units weren’t alerted until 90 minutes after the ship sank.
Just two years after 9/11, the “Andrew J. Barberi,” one of the largest ships in the Staten Island Ferry fleet, is on its way back from Manhattan when something goes horribly wrong. As the crew prepares to dock, the ferry slams into a maintenance pier at full speed, tearing its side wide open and killing 11 passengers. In a city still recovering from the devastating attack on the World Trade Center, some speculate that terrorism might have been involved, but interviews with the crew suggest another theory.
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