- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 20, 2015

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Federal investigators say the captain of the doomed cargo ship that sank after being battered by a hurricane intended to pass 65 miles from the center of the storm, a decision maritime experts say was risky.

The National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday said the captain, Michael Davidson, emailed a company safety official on Sept. 30 about his route.

The 790-foot El Faro left after the National Hurricane Center sent out an advisory that then-Tropical Storm Joaquin was predicted to become a hurricane.

The freighter eventually sunk, and all 33 crew members aboard were lost. A Navy team is currently searching for the wreckage.

F. John Nicoll, a retired captain who spent years piloting the run to Puerto Rico, says his rule of thumb was always to stay 300 miles away from a storm’s center.



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