Local Author Tackles El Faro Sinking in New Book

COTUIT – A Cape Cod author has deconstructed the tragic sinking of the cargo ship El Faro.

The vessel sank off the coast of the Bahamas in the fall of 2015 during Hurricane Joaquin killing its entire 33-member crew, including Massachusetts Maritime Academy graduates Jeffrey Mathias and Keith Griffin.

George Foy, of Cotuit, who has a maritime background, was fascinated by all of the aspects which led to the ship going down.

“Having been a merchant mariner and having always identified with the sea I just kind of had a gut empathy with whatever these people were going through.

“Run the Storm,” which was published in May, details the causes that led to the El Faro’s demise.

An investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard found the ship’s captain was at fault for the ship going down for attempting to go around the storm instead of docking in a safe place.

“This was the sharp cutting edge of a huge panoply of different factors,” Foy said.

Foy also credits the structural condition of the ship, crew fatigue, the captain’s corporate psychology and the unpredictability of powerful storms as factors which led to the sinking.

Foy followed the story of the sinking after it happened through local media outlets but did not think it would be a topic he would dive into as his last book was about navigation and a shipwreck.

“I didn’t want to get typecast as a shipwreck writer,” he said. “But this particular tragedy of the El Faro was just so gripping that eventually I had to write a book about it.”

Foy spent time interviewing family members of crew members who died on the ship to get the whole story.

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