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Vestal Native Leads Navy's Search for El Faro

A Vestal native is leading the Navy's efforts to find a lost merchant vessel that went missing on October 1st during Hurricane Joaquin.

Captain Gregg Baumann is a 1981 graduate of Vestal High School who went on to SUNY Broome and Clarkson University before joining the Navy in 1987. He's leading the search for the El Faro over a 150 square-mile are in the Bahamas. The goal is to find the ship and, if possible, retrieve the vessel's black box.

"It's always a heart wrenching operation but it's driven by human compassion. We are certainly wanting to find answers and bring that back to the families and bring it back to the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) so hopefully nothing like this ever happens again," said Baumann.

The 28 Americans and 5 Polish members of the El Faro's crew are presumed dead.