El Faro was a cargo ship that traveled weekly between Jacksonville, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico. On Sept 29th, 2015 the ship had a crew of 33 people and was carrying 391 containers, 294 trailers and cars.
When the ship left Jacksonville, Tropical Storm Joaquin was a few hundred miles east. It became a Category 3 Hurricane and hit The El Faro on October 1st. El Faro was declared sunk on October 5. The search was called off at sunset on October 7th.
There was a lot reasons for the accident and lots of blame assigned by the investigation. From the the Captain, to the owners and also the inspectors who checked it's seaworthiness. Inadequate life vessels were a big factor that the crew couldn't make it out safely. The families of the victims have focused on helping prevent another tragedy like this and honoring their family.
A small park under the Dames Point Bridge was used for the Memorial and dedicated in 2016. El Faro Memorial is shaped like a lighthouse because that's what is means in Spanish. The site was chosen because it's one of the last views of home that the crew saw. It's one of the most moving memorials because families have brought items that had meaning to the crew and family members visit often. There is also a dual memorial in San Juan.
The Dames Point Bridge is the image that so many people picture when they think if Jacksonville. It's really the perfect place for the memorial. Families gather together each year at the park to comfort each other.