Search to a Bitter End

Air Force aircraft assisted the Coast Guard in searching for the crew of the stricken ship lost in Hurricane Joaquin, until efforts were called off on Wednesday, Coast Guard officials announced. “I have come to a very difficult decision to suspend the search for the crew of the El Faro. … My deepest condolences go to the families, loved ones, and friends of the El Faro crew,” Coast Guard 7th District Commander Rear Adm. Scott Buschman said in an Oct. 8 release. Ships and aircraft combed ?more than 183,000 square nautical miles near the ship’s last reported position off the Bahamas, finding only one deceased? crewmember among scattered debris. New York Air National Guard 106th Rescue Wing HC-130Ps and pararescue flying from Patrick AFB, Fla., assisted Coast Guard HC-130s in the seven-day search, while Air Force Reserve Command WC-130J hurricane hunters from Keesler AFB, Miss., and Georgia ANG E-8C JSTARS from the 116th Air Control Wing at Robins AFB, Ga., provided support. The joint effort also included four Coast Guard cutters, MH-60 helicopters, a Navy P-8 patrol aircraft, and three commercial vessels, according to the release. All 33 crew members are presumed dead.