Friday, April 03, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Wednesday, October 07, 2015
Why was 40-Year Old Ship Sent into Path of Hurricane?
By Michael Hansen @ 4:27 AM :: 2526 Views :: Jones Act

by Michael Hansen, Hawaii Shippers Council, October 6, 2015

The American Shipper Magazine posted Tuesday, October 6, 2015, an article “NTSB begins investigation into EL FARO disappearance” which delves into the question as to whether or not the domestic ship build requirement of the Jones Act led to the loss of the EL FARO.

The domestic ship build requirement when coupled to the extraordinarily high cost of large ship construction in the U.S. (as compared to building comparable ships in Japan and South Korea) leads shipowners to keep their Jones Act ships in service far beyond what would be considered their useful life in international trade.

Key excerpts:

As the U.S. Coast Guard continues to search for survivors, experts say the now-likely loss of the TOTE Maritime cargo ship could be the worst disaster involving a U.S. flag vessel in decades.

A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) team is scheduled to arrive in Jacksonville, Fla. Tuesday to begin its investigation into the disappearance of the TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico vessel El Faro, which U.S. Coast Guard said Monday it believes sunk after getting caught in Hurricane Joaquin.

“As far as I know for U.S. flag shipping this would be the biggest loss of life since the Marine Electric went down in 1983. I know of no other merchant vessel flying the U.S. flag that has been of this proportion,” said Robert Frump, author of Until the Sea Shall Free Them: Life, Death and Survival in the Merchant Marine, which details the sinking of the bulk carrier Marine Electric off the coast of Virginia and its aftermath. That incident claimed the lives of 31 of the ship’s 34 crew members.

In addition to its normal crew of 28, five Polish nationals were working on the ship to prepare it for an upcoming visit to the Grand Bahama shipyard, where the El Faro was scheduled to have conversion work done on her in anticipation of migrating the vessel to the trade between Tacoma and Anchorage, Alaska.

Built by Sun Shipbuilding in Chester, Pennsylvania, the El Faro was launched in 1974 as the Puerto Rico and delivered in early 1975 to the Puerto Rico Maritime Shipping Authority.

“It’s easy to speak in hindsight. But most ships are considered over age at age 20,” said Frump.

“On the basis of what I know, you've got to wonder why you are sending a 40-year-old ship into the path of a hurricane,” Frump added.

The U.S. merchant fleet has many older ships.

Meanwhile, the sinking of a U.S. flag ship could fuel criticism of the Jones Act, which restricts the shipment goods between points within the U.S., including Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Alaska to ships that are built in U.S. shipyards, registered in the U.S., and crewed by Americans.

Critics of the Jones Act, particularly the requirement that vessels be built in the United States, say it vastly increases the cost of replacement vessels.

The Jones Act, or its “build America” requirement, has been targeted by group such as the Hawaii Shippers Council, Heritage Foundation, and politicians such as the Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

Because U.S.-built and U.S.-crewed ships are far more expensive than those that are built in overseas shipyards and crewed by foreign nationals, the Jones Act fleet contains many older vessels.

Seattle Times: El Faro was to be rotated to Alaska this Fall

  *   *   *   *   *

Fox News On the Record with Greta Van Susteren covered the story of the Jones Act containership EL FARO with reporter Griff Jenkins in Jacksonville, Florida in a video entitled “Should missing cargo ship EL FARO have even been in service?” Jenkins reported that the NTSB has dispatched a GO Team to Jacksonville to investigate the loss of the ship. Jenkins also interviewed local maritime attorney and former merchant seamen Rod Sullivan who opined that the ship was beyond its useful life and this lead to a catastrophic failure at sea with a loss of the ship and possibly the entire crew.

FOX VIDEO: Maritime Attorney Rod Sullivan discusses the sinking of the El Faro with Steve Doocey on Fox & Friends 

FOX VIDEO: Should missing cargo ship El Faro have even been in service?

  *   *   *   *   *

History Channel: Marine Electric Disaster, 1983


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940


ACA Signups Hawaii



Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii



Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube


Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes


Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii


National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii