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Life Ring From Missing Cargo Ship Recovered, Coast Guard Says

The Coast Guard says it has found a life ring belonging to the El Faro, a 790-foot cargo ship with 33 crew aboard that has been missing and unreachable since it issued an emergency satellite notification last week in the Bahamas.

The life ring, found about 75 miles northeast of the roll-on, roll-off container ship's last known position was spotted by a Coast Guard C-130 and recovered by an MH-60 helicopter.

A Coast Guard statement says:

"Search and rescue crews have searched more than 30,000 square-miles since Thursday. "Sea conditions in the search area today have been reported to be 20 to 40-feet with winds in excess to 100 knots. Visibility for search and rescue flying between 500 and 1,000 feet has been reported to be less than one nautical mile at times."

The El Faro, variously described as 735-feet and 790-feet in length, left Jacksonville, Fla., on Sept. 29. On Oct. 1, authorities received a satellite notification saying the vessel had lost propulsion and was listing in hurricane conditions off Crooked Island, Bahamas. The message said that the ship had been taking on water but that all flooding had been contained.

The ship has a crew of 33, 28 of them Americans.

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