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El Faro cargo ship believed to have been found

A cargo ship from the United States is believed to have been discovered by the US Navy. The ship disappeared off the coast of the Bahamas during Hurricane Joaquin.

United States officials from the National Transportation Safety Board said the US Navy has found wreckage believed to be from El Faro,

a cargo ship that was lost off the Bahamas

during Hurricane Joaquin.

El Faro disappeared on October 1 en route from Florida to Puerto Rico in the worst cargo shipping disaster involving a US-flagged ship since 1983. The entire crew of 33 is believed to have died in the disaster after the captain, Michael Davidson, reported a "hull breach" and said a hatch had blown.

The US Coast Guard had searched for days after El Faro disappeared, finding debris and a body in a survival suit.

A search team onboard US Naval ship Apache found a vessel on Saturday using sonar equipment in the area of El Faro's last known position at a depth of 15,000 feet (4,572 meters), US officials announced.

"Sophisticated sonar equipment towed from Apache first detected what are believed to be images of the vessel using Orion, a side-scanning sonar system," US officials announced. It added that wreckage found is "consistent with a 790-foot cargo ship, which from sonar images appears to be in an upright position and in one piece."

"Specialists on Apache will use CURV 21, a deep ocean remotely operated vehicle, to survey and confirm the identity of the wreckage," US officials said.

The operation to determine the findings is expected to begin Sunday, and is expected to take up to 15 days to complete, depending on weather.

smm/ng (AP, Reuters, AFP)

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