The first video images of the sunken El Faro, which claimed the life of four Mainers when it went down in Hurricane Joaquin, will be aired Sunday in a CBS “60 Minutes” segment on the disaster.

The show’s Scott Pelley reports from aboard the Navy’s salvage and diving vessel Apache, which was used by the National Transportation Safety Board to investigate what has been described as the worst U.S. maritime disaster in 35 years. CBS officials said the videos of El Faro on the ocean floor 15,000 feet below the surface were taken by cameras attached to the Apache’s cable-controlled underwater recovery vehicle.

The show will air Sunday at 7:30 p.m.

The 790-foot El Faro sank during Hurricane Joaquin on Oct. 1 with 33 crew members aboard, including four Mainers: Dylan Meklin, 23, and Danielle Randolph, 34, both of Rockland; Michael Davidson, 53, of Windham, the captain; and Michael Holland, 25, of Wilton. All were graduates of Maine Maritime Academy, as was a fifth crew member, Mitchell Kuflik of Brooklyn, New York.

The El Faro left Jacksonville on Sept. 29 bound for San Juan, Puerto Rico. At the time, the storm was still classified as a tropical storm. On board the ship were 391 containers topside and 294 trailers and vehicles below deck. The National Weather Service issued an advisory upgrading Joaquin to hurricane status while the ship was several hundred miles into its voyage.

The vessel remained on its course through seven additional hurricane advisories over the next 21 hours. On Oct. 1, however, the El Faro lost propulsion and was unable to evade Joaquin, which grew to a Category 4 hurricane with winds that topped 130 mph, leaving the ship helpless to move from its location as Joaquin bore down.

The ship sank off the Bahamas.

The NTSB lead investigator told CBS “60 Minutes” that the investigation has been hampered by the loss of the ship’s Voyage Data Recorder (VDR), which records conversations on the ship’s bridge, according to a release by the network. The device was on the bridge, which was sheared off the boat when it sank.

“We were looking, of course, for the bridge and the Voyage Data Recorder … we got up to that level and to see just openness, is extremely moving and difficult … it was a very big surprise,” Tom Roth-Roffy said.

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