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US Cargo Ship Remains Missing Near the Bahamas After Getting Battered by Hurricane Joaquin

The U.S. Coast Guard continues to search for a missing container ship and the 33 members on board after it appeared to get caught in Hurricane Joaquin near the central Bahamas late last week.

The crew consisted of 28 U.S. citizens and five Polish nationals, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard also said the ship was a 790-foot roar cargo ship, the El Faro, and was traveling from Jacksonville, Florida, to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Workers at the Coast Guard Atlantic Area command center in Portsmouth, Virginia, received a notification that the El Faro was getting rocked by Hurricane Joaquin. The ship had previously dealt with flooding waters, but they were able to keep it contained.

By the time aircraft attempted to re-locate the ship, the communication had ended.

According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Edward Vallee, "At the time the ship went missing, Joaquin was churning through the southeastern Bahamas with winds sustained at 125 mph."

"Seas were observed up to 30 feet along with blinding rain and strong winds," he added.

Recovery efforts to find the missing ship and crew were difficult and nearly impossible as Hurricane Joaquin remained across the Bahamas for a few days. As Joaquin began its track northward over the western Atlantic, search and recovery efforts improved over the weekend.

"Due to the slow movement of Joaquin at the time, these conditions lasted for over 24 hours, making rescue efforts extremely difficult," Vallee said.

During the search on Sunday, the Coast Guard located objects in the water within the search area, but have yet to confirm it was from the missing El Faro.

A press conference will be held on Monday morning to provide updated information on the search, the Coast Guard said.