DISASTERS

For doomed ship crew, concern turned into paralyzing panic

  • This undated image made from a video by the National Transportation Safety Board shows the stern of the sunken ship El Faro. Federal accident investigators are releasing a transcript of audio recovered from the bridge of the doomed freighter El Faro, which sank last year in a hurricane near the Bahamas. The recordings transcribed from the ship's voyage data recorder are set to be released Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, by the NTSB in Washington, D.C. (National Transportation Safety Board via AP)

    This undated image made from a video by the National Transportation Safety Board shows the stern of the sunken ship El Faro. Federal accident investigators are releasing a transcript of audio recovered from the bridge of the doomed freighter El Faro, which sank last year in a hurricane near the Bahamas. The recordings transcribed from the ship's voyage data recorder are set to be released Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, by the NTSB in Washington, D.C. (National Transportation Safety Board via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE- This undated photo made available Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016 by the NTSB shows the voyage data recorder from the freighter El Faro, aboard the USNS Apache in the Atlantic Ocean. The cargo ship sank in the Bahamas during Hurricane Joaquin in October 2015. Five hundred pages of transcripts released Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, provide a new glimpse at the final hours for the crew of 33, all of whom died.  (NTSB via AP, File)

    FILE- This undated photo made available Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016 by the NTSB shows the voyage data recorder from the freighter El Faro, aboard the USNS Apache in the Atlantic Ocean. The cargo ship sank in the Bahamas during Hurricane Joaquin in October 2015. Five hundred pages of transcripts released Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, provide a new glimpse at the final hours for the crew of 33, all of whom died. (NTSB via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

Transcripts show that crew members aboard a doomed cargo ship expressed increasingly dire concern — occasionally tinged with gallows humor — as a hurricane gained strength, culminating in one crewman lamenting "I'm a goner" as they scrambled to abandon the listing ship.

The 500 pages of transcripts, which were released Tuesday, provide a new glimpse at the final hours for the crew of 33, all of whom died when El Faro sank in October 2015. Some of those on board questioned the captain's decision to sail closer to Hurricane Joaquin, which took an erratic path as it swirled in the Atlantic.

Audio recovered last summer from the ship's resting place 15,000 feet deep near the Bahamas recorded conversations on the ship's bridge, along with weather and positioning data.