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President Obama offers condolences to El Faro relatives

PR dla Zagranicy
Roberto Galea 08.10.2015 09:01
US President Barack Obama has offered his condolences to the relatives of the victims of the El Faro container ship, who included five Poles. The ship apparently sank off the Bahamas on 1 October.

“Today, 28 American families — from Florida to Maine — and five Polish families are heartbroken. May they be comforted, in some small way, in knowing that they have the love and support of their neighbours, the merchant mariner community and the American people," Obama said in a statement.

"The captain and crew of the El Faro were Americans and Poles, men and women, experienced mariners and young seamen. They were beloved sons and daughters and loving husbands and fathers. They were dedicated engineers, technicians and a cook. And these 33 sailors were united by a bond that has linked our merchant mariners for more than two centuries — a love of the sea," Obama said.

"As their ship battled the storm, they were no doubt working as they lived — together, as one crew," the US President added.

"This tragedy also reminds us that most of the goods and products we rely on every day still move by sea. As Americans, our economic prosperity and quality of life depend upon men and women who serve aboard ships like the El Faro."

Container ship El Faro operated by American firm Tote Services, was engulfed by Hurricane Joaquin on Thursday 1 October, while sailing from Jacksonville, Florida, to San Juan, Puerto Rico. A notification that the vessel was in distress was received by the US Coast Guard that day, but no further contact was made.

The US's National Transportation Safety Board has launched an investigation into the sinking of container ship El Faro. (rg)

Source: PAP, NBCNews.com

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