JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - The El Faro carried a crew of 33 when it sank in the Atlantic after losing engine power amid Hurricane Joaquin's 50-foot waves and 140 mph winds. One body has been sighted in the debris area, but the search continues for survivors. Here are some of the people who were on the ship:
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The El Faro carried a crew of 33 when it sank in the Atlantic after losing engine power amid Hurricane Joaquin's 50-foot waves and 140 mph winds. One body has been sighted in the debris area, but the search continues for survivors. Here are some of the people who were on the ship:
Michael Davidson, captain, has been described by colleagues as an experienced leader and calm under pressure. Davidson charted the El Faro's course before Hurricane Joaquin swelled into a Category 4 storm. Davidson radioed that the ship had lost power Thursday before officials say it sank in 15,000 feet of water.
Davidson earned a captain's license before he ever went to college at Maine Maritime Academy.
"He was a very squared-away sailor, very meticulous with details, very prudent, which is important when you're working on the water," said Nick Mavadones, a friend since childhood and general manager of Casco Bay Lines, where he and Davidson worked together. As kids, Mavadones and Davidson spent their summers on Great Diamond Island in Maine's Casco Bay. Fit and athletic, Davidson graduated from South Portland High School and began working for Casco, first as a deckhand, and then as a captain, ferrying people, cars and goods throughout Casco Bay.
"Mike loved the water. He was very high energy. He took working on the water and being a captain very seriously," Mavadones said. His home base remained in Windham, Maine, where his wife lives and where they raised two daughters, both students at the University of Southern Maine. Davidson's brother, Greg Davidson, said the family had no comment.
Danielle Randolph from Rockland, Maine, served as 2nd mate on the El Faro. Her mother, Laurie Bobillot, said Randolph was obsessed with the sea. "Since kindergarten, on the first day of school she said 'I don't want to go to school. I love the water,'" Bobillot said.
Randolph also attended Maine Maritime Academy. An acquaintance, Matthew Farmer, said the story of the El Faro has brought mariners together to support each other. "We're in all corners of the world at any time, and this has really brought us together," Farmer said. "It's a small community to begin with and it's a strong group and this is making them stronger because everyone is pulling together and hoping for the best."
Mike Holland, a 3rd engineer aboard the El Faro, also attended Maine Maritime. His stepfather, Robin Roberts of Jay, Maine, said Holland was proud of his accomplishments at the academy, was a great engineer and always wanted to be a mariner.
Mariette Wright, 51, marveled at the things she experienced at sea, like a rogue wave and the Northern Lights, her mother Mary Shevory, said. "She always said, she liked her family, but loved the sea," Shevory said. Wright's title on her LinkedIn page was "able seaman." Shevory, of Massachusetts, said her daughter was brave, and a free spirit. "She's my mariner, my sea farer," Shevory said.
Roosevelt Clark, 38, of Jacksonville was also aboard the El Faro, said Cynthia Hill, his aunt. She said he loved the sea. "That was his job. He loved his job."
Crew member Shaun Rivera lived in Jacksonville and was serving as a cook on the El Faro when it disappeared, according to Barry Young, his uncle. Young said his nephew was proud of his career as a mariner and loved the life at sea and the good pay and quality of life that his job provided.
El Faro crew member Dylan Meklin was also a graduate of Maine Maritime, according to a spokeswoman for the school.
Contributing to this report: Jason Dearen from Jacksonville, Florida; David Sharp from Portland, Maine; Tony Winton from Jacksonville.