El Faro departed Jacksonville, Florida, bound for Puerto Rico on the early morning of September 30, 2015, when then-Tropical Storm Joaquin was several hundred miles to the east. The following morning, after Joaquin had become a Category 3 hurricane, the vessel likely encountered swells of 20 to 40 ft (6 to 12 m) and winds in excess 80 kn (150 km/h; 92 mph) as it sailed near the storm’s eye. Around 7:30 a.m. on October 1, the ship had taken on water and was listing 15 degrees. The last report from the captain, however, indicated that the crew had contained the flooding. Shortly thereafter, El Faro ceased all communications with shore.

I worked on the El Faro for 12 years and I knew some of the people lost at sea. I cried and created this poem as the news flashed across my television that they believed that the ship sank. I didn’t feel any better after this was done but I had to do it. My sincerest condolences to the families of the lives lost. Videography by: D2R Filmz and Sky Visuals. Music by – Mattia Cupelli

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