Phoenix International Holdings, Inc. (Phoenix), under the operational direction of the U.S. Navy’s Office of the Supervisor of Salvage and Diving (SUPSALV), successfully recovered the voyage data recorder (VDR) from the sunken cargo vessel El Faro. Working aboard USNS Apache (T-ATF 172), Phoenix operated the U.S. Navy’s Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) CURV-21during a single 13 hour dive to identify and recover the VDR from a water depth of 15,000 feet. Following the recovery, the VDR was transferred to National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) investigators onboard USNS Apache.

“Phoenix is pleased to have worked with SUPSALV and the NTSB in recovering the VDR from El Faro. We hope this recovery leads investigators to identify the cause of the sinking and prevent future similar tragedies” says Mike Kutzleb, President of Phoenix.

El Faro went missing on October 1, 2015 while operating in the midst of Hurricane Joaquin near Crooked Island in the Bahamas. In late October 2015, Phoenix, under the direction of SUPSALV, successfully located the sunken ship using the U.S. Navy’s deepwater side scan sonar search system Orion. The Phoenix team then launched CURV-21 to verify and visually inspect the wreckage.

Phoenix specializes in providing underwater operations and engineering services in response to subsea challenges. A recognized industry leader in the field of undersea search and recovery, Phoenix provides quick response and turn-key services for the location and recovery of objects from any water depth down to 6,000 msw (20,000 feet of seawater). Phoenix is an employee-owned, ISO 9001-2008 Management System certified marine services contractor providing manned and unmanned underwater solutions and project management services to a diverse set of clients worldwide. Services from our seven regional offices include wet and dry hyperbaric welding, Nondestructive Testing (NDT), subsea related engineering, conventional and atmospheric diving, autonomous underwater vehicles, remotely operated vehicles, and other robotic systems.

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