Searchers using high-tech sonars have discovered the wreckage of a vessel believed to be the cargo ship El Faro, which went missing on October 1 with 33 crew during Hurricane Joaquin.

USNS Apache spotted the lost ship.

USNS Apache spotted the lost ship. Image by Official US Navy Page / CC BY 2.0

The US National Transportation Safety Board said the wreckage is some 15,000 feet below the water’s surface and its identity must be confirmed by sending down a remotely operated deep ocean vehicle.

The agency said experts aboard a specially equipped Navy vessel reported they located the wreckage deep underwater in the area of the ship’s last known position.

The wreckage was detected on the fifth of 13 surveying passes by the USNS Apache.

The 790ft El Faro was reported missing east of the Bahamas, according to the Coast Guard.

The NTSB said investigators will now seek to survey the debris and confirm the identity of the wreckage, adding that effort could begin as early as today.

It added that the wreckage spotted in the depths is “consistent with a 790ft cargo ship, which from sonar images appears to be in an upright position and in one piece”

(Press Association)