Mass. Maritime Holds Moment of Silence for Missing Grads

Two graduates of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy are among crew members missing from a U.S. cargo ship that sank near the Bahamas after encountering heavy seas from Hurricane Joaquin, and the school held a moment of silence for them Tuesday morning.

A college spokesman said Monday that Jeffrey Mathias was aboard the El Faro. He was a Kingston resident and a 1996 engineering graduate.

The college confirmed that 2005 graduate Keith Griffin was an engineer on the cargo ship. He was originally from Winthrop.

The El Faro left Florida on Sept. 29, when Joaquin was still a tropical storm. The ship had 33 crew members and was heading to Puerto Rico on a cargo supply run when contact was lost. Officials believe the ship sunk.

The college's president, Rear Adm. Francis McDonald, said the school sends its thoughts and prayers to the families while holding out hope.

McDonald said, "While there is still a search and rescue mission going on, I ask for your optimism, For your hope and your support."

The Coast Guard continued the search throughout Tuesday to determine what sunk the cargo ship.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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