(NEWSER) – The captain of the El Faro planned to sail ahead of Hurricane Joaquin, but the cargo ship was doomed by a mechanical failure that left it at the mercy of the storm, according to the vessel's owner. The CEO of Tote Services says the captain, who was last heard from on Thursday morning, had determined that the weather was good enough to follow a sister ship's path back to Jacksonville, Fla., the AP reports.

"Regrettably he suffered a mechanical problem with his main propulsion system, which left him in the path of the storm," the CEO says. "We do not know when his engine problems began to occur, nor the reasons for his engine problems." The Coast Guard believes the ship, with a crew of 28 Americans and five Poles, sank in 15,000 feet of water near the Bahamas.

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