The author assumes the ship sank as the result of the storm.
The author assumes that the ship broke apart in heavy seas.
The author assumes that the FITZGERALD sustained damage 3-4 hours prior to the time she sank.
The author assumes that the captain did not know he was in shallow waters.
The author assumes the waves were at least 25 feet high.
If the FITZGERALD had stopped in shoal waters, it would not have sunk.
The shoal waters were a predictor of the strength of the storm.
"Shoal waters" is a phenomenon that occurs in open water. The captain should increased the speed of the ship to move through the shoal quickly.
Once the captain recognized that he was near shoal waters, he should have moved the ship closer to the shoreline.
Shoal (shallow) waters are dangerous in a storm.
Examine the hull using a submersible.
Examine the shoal for evidence of damage by the ship.
Examine the hull using side-penetrating sonar.
Examine the hull by using a remote controlled camera.
Review records from the ship and other ships in the area.
The FITZGERALD's captain reported damage to the ship at the same time the ANDERSON's captain reported that the FITZGERALD was in shallow water.
The position of the ship on the bottom of the lake indicates that the hull was damaged.
The damage to the ship was consistent with damage from high seas.
Reports from other ships.
The radio transmissions from the FITZGERALD confirmed that the ship had run aground.