It is now official--- human error led to the sinking of El Faro in 2015, killing all 33 Crew Members on board. The Coast Guard report into the sinking of the ship was released on Sunday and blamed the captain for underestimating the storm he was about to face.

According to Fox News, the captain should have changed course to avoid Hurricane Joaquin that was right in the path of the ship. He ignored the instrument readings and went straight into the category 4 storm, causing the ship to lose propulsion, get stuck and sink, in that order.

Even after the ship got stuck, courtesy of the storms 150 mph winds, Captain Michael Davidson did not take any aggressive measures to try and salvage the situation and save the ship or its crew.

Exhausted crew

The Coast Guard report also blamed the ship owner, TOTE Maritime Inc., who failed to replace a member of the crew - a safety officer - preferring instead to delegate the duties to the other crew members.

This resulted in more working hours for the crew, and less resting time, which was in violation of maritime law concerning periods allowed between shifts for crew members.

When tragedy struck, the crew was overwhelmed by the shifting weight of the cargo due to turbulence caused by the winds, and the powerful rising waves. This led to panic and the stress of the reduced resting periods, and the crew was unable to save themselves and the ship.

Warning signs

According to transcripts released by the National Transportation Safety Board at the end of last year, they showed the crew getting anxious and panicky as they headed straight to the storm.

They also raised their concerns with captain Davidson, but he disregarded their suggestions to change course.

This is despite the instrument readings showing that the winds were more than what the 790ft ship could stand. After a few hours, the situation changed from bad to worse, and that is when emergency security alerts were sent out to the coast guard.

The El Faro then went down in 15,000 feet of water on October 1, 2015. The coast guard report has been released exactly two years on the day the tragedy occurred.

Lessons learnt

After the report was released, Sen. Bill Nelson said in a statement the tragedy "should never have happened." He stressed that the report findings should serve as a roadmap to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

In a separate statement according to Fox News, the ship owners TOTE Inc. said the report is a piece of "sacred obligation," that needed to be studied by all players in the shipping industry.