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Congressional Panel Takes Up El Faro Inquiry Tuesday

The National Transportation Safety Board

Another fact-finding expedition into why Jacksonville-based cargo ship El Faro sank in the Caribbean two years ago is set to take place Tuesday, this time in Congress.

After extensive hearings in Jacksonville and Washington, the National Transportation Safety Board and U.S. Coast Guard have blamed the sinking and death of 33 crew members on a combination of a lax corporate safety culture, inadequate ship inspections and poor decisions by Captain Michael Davidson.

Both groups recommend doing away with an exemption for older ships that allows them to use open lifeboats instead of modern, covered models. That would require an act of congress.

Now the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation will continue the inquiry, beginning at 10 Tuesday morning.

A committee spokesman tells WJCT News that Chairman Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-California) is interested in potential legislation.

Reporter Ryan Benk can be reached at rbenk@wjct.org , 904-358-6319 or on Twitter @RyanMichaelBenk

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Ryan Benk
Ryan Benk is originally from Miami, Florida and came to Tallahassee to attend Florida State University. He worked on Miami Dade College’s Arts and Literature Magazine- Miamibiance Magazine and has published poetry and a short film called “ The Writer.” He’s currently working as the Newsroom’s Researcher while finishing his Creative Writing Bachelor’s Degree at Florida State University. When he’s not tracking down news, Ryan likes watching films, writing fiction and poetry, and exploring Florida.
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