JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It could be two weeks or more before we learn more about the information contained on the voyage data recorder from the doomed El Faro cargo ship.
The USS Apache brought the VDR from the ship to Naval Station Mayport Friday morning.
The VDR was recovered at a depth of around 15,000 feet in the Atlantic Ocean, National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Brian Curtis said. It's the first time the NTSB has ever recovered a data recorder from that depth. However, Curtis said that the VDR is rated for up to 20,000 ft. and this makes the NTSB hopeful they may find data on it.
"This is certainly a challenge from location and sheer depth." Curtis said
The third mission to find El Faro's VDR left from Virginia on Monday. It took 12 hours for the VDR to be found, by 10:30 p.m. Monday, it was on board the USS Apache, according to Curtis.
Curtis believes that they will be able to get critical information that might explain why the El Faro sank during Hurricane Joaquin last October. Curtis says the VDR is designed to operate at up to 20,000 feet and a visual inspection of the El Faro's VDR device showed no damage.
The NTSB does not yet have a projected time line of when any information will be made available to the public, but Curtis said in two weeks they will have a better idea. The reality of the situation is that there are many variables between authorities and any information that may or may not be on the VDR. Curtis said that they are unsure the state of the information within the box.
Upon a visual inspection, the outside of the box seemed fine, but Curtis says this means very little about what is inside.
Authorities are unsure how many hours may or may not be on the recorder which will determine how long the information discovery process may take.
El Faro's Voyage Data Recorder makes landfall
Families of the El Faro's 33 victims will not be allowed to hear audio from the device, Curtis said. A transcript will be released and families will be able to review the information before it is released publicly.
Officials from the NTSB, Coast Guard, and the El Faro's owner Tote Maritime, will be allowed to hear what was recorded on the device.