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El Faro Crewman's Family Holding Out Hope In Jacksonville

hall exterior
Michelle Corum

Coast Guard crews are continuing to search for possible survivors from the cargo ship El Faro, which is believed to have sunk during Hurricane Joaquin near the Bahamas. The ship left from Jacksonville last Tuesday and the search began Friday.

One of the 33 crew members aboard was Shawn Rivera. His great-uncle, Barry Young, was with other crew members’ families near the Seafarers International Union hall Monday  afternoon.

He says he’s praying for his great-nephew to come home.

“Hope is in essence the greatest, one of the most powerful things we have. A person without hope basically feels they have no reason to live, and for that, we’re going to hold onto hope,” Young said.

The Coast Guard has found at least one deceased crewmember. Searchers have also found a life boat with no one inside, other floatation devices and cargo containers.

The Navy and commercial boats are joining the search. Weather conditions are said to be favorable Monday. 

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP