CASTINE — The Coast Guard announced Monday that it believes the freighter El Faro, with at least four Maine Maritime Academy graduates among its crew of 33, has sunk. The 790-foot freighter went missing in the Bahamas last Thursday during Hurricane Joaquin en route from Jacksonville, Fla., to San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Reported among the ship’s crew of 28 U.S. and five Polish citizens were Captain Michael Davidson of Windham; second mate Danielle Randolph, 34, of Rockland; Michael Holland, 25, of Wilton; and Dylan Melkin, a 2010 graduate of Rockland High School. All four are reported to be graduates of Maine Maritime Academy. Melkin graduated this year.
Coast Guard Capt. Mark Fedor said at the Monday morning press briefing, that searchers had recovered one body and a badly damaged lifeboat from El Faro. On Sunday, Coast Guard officials reported that search aircraft had spotted debris, including cargo containers, life jackets, Styrofoam and an oil slick in the water northeast of the ship’s last known position northeast of Crooked Island in the Bahamas. Earlier, a Coast Guard helicopter recovered a life ring with the ship’s name on it.
Three Coast Guard cutters, two airplanes and a helicopter were assisted by two U.S. Navy airplanes and three commercial tugboats during Monday’s search.