Marine Board of Investigation Hearing for EL FARO

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By MarEx 2017-02-01 10:41:00

The third and final Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation hearing has been scheduled to commence on Feb. 6, 2017, in Jacksonville. This hearing will examine additional elements of the investigation including crew witnesses, TOTE company officials, Coast Guard officials and contents of El Faro's Voyage Data Recorder, including the transcript of bridge audio recordings which was released Dec. 13, 2016, by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The NTSB, which is conducting its own concurrent investigation, will fully participate in the Marine Board of Investigation hearings.

What: Marine Board of Investigation

When: Monday, Feb. 6 - Friday, Feb. 17; Daily 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. EST There are no witnesses scheduled over the weekend. However, if the MBI needs to expand the schedule we will update the media accordingly.

Where: Prime F. Osborn Convention Center, 1000 Water Street, Jacksonville, FL 32204

How: There are several ways interested parties may stay up to date with the MBI proceedings. The Coast Guard will be tweeting live hearing updates from @uscoastguard with the following hashtags: #CGMBI #Elfaro.

An e-mail has been set up for interested parties to ask questions or make comments. This e-mail will be checked regularly. The e-mail is: ELFARO@uscg.mil

The web address for the live stream and an archive of past El Faro proceedings is: livestream.com/USCGInvestigations

The most current copy of the schedule is attached to this release.

The investigation will determine as closely as possible:

• The factors that contributed to the accident;

• Whether there is evidence that any act of misconduct, inattention to duty, negligence or willful violation of the law on the part of any licensed or certificated person contributed to the casualty; and

• Whether there is evidence that any Coast Guard personnel or any representative or employee of any other government agency or any other person caused or contributed to the casualty.

Reporters must register to attend the hearing by emailing: alana.l.miller@uscg.mil. Media must register no later than 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3.

Ground Rules for the EL FARO Hearing are:

Reporters may attend open sessions of the Marine Board, as may members of the public as long as they do not detract from the decorum of the proceedings or inhibit a witness' willingness to testify. The Coast Guard's policy is to permit expanded media coverage of marine casualty investigations; therefore, audio and video recordings are authorized under the following conditions:

• Media pooling will be required. Media set up and site survey is Sunday, Feb. 5 at 12:30 p.m.

• Witnesses will not be available for interviews until the Marine Board Chairman releases them from their testimony

• Entering and exiting the hearing room shall only be conducted during designated breaks

• No extreme close-ups of documents, witnesses and/or members of the Marine Board

• Bench conferences shall not be recorded by audio or by extreme close-up video or photography

• Media members must prominently display their credentials at all times and remain within assigned area

• Confidential communications between counsel and client or co-counsel shall not be recorded by audio or by extreme close-up video or photography

• Questions regarding the proceedings shall be directed to the Coast Guard media liaison.  A liaison will be present at the venue throughout the hearing

Failure to adhere to these rules or other verbal instructions may result in removal from the hearings. Contacts: Alana Miller, Public Affairs Office, alana.l.miller@uscg.mil, 202-372-4632

The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.

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