The Ship sank in Hurricane Joaquin on October 01, 2015 off the Bahamas. There has seemed to be a reluctance by all parties involved to continue the attempt to recover the VDR from some 15,000 feet - admittedly a considerable depth. However because of the importance of possible data on the recorder such an attempt must be made.
Finally the NTSB has contracted with the USN Supervisor of Salvage to assist in the recovery of the VDR. The USNS Apache will depart in early July 2016 together with USCG, Phoenix International and an underwater operating vehicle the CURV-21.
Once the VDR is recovered it will be brought ashore to the NTSB laboratory and thoroughly studied to download and analyze the information. With these results in hand the USCG will conduct a two hearings to investigate the sinking and question witnesses. A third hearing is planned for later this year and will likely analyze the data from the recorder.
With the extremely long time in accomplishing this investigation one has to wonder if the fact that the USCG licensed, drilled and inspected the vessel, which was in deplorable condition, has a bearing on these apparent delays. It has taken pressure from the Democratic Senator for Florida Bill Nelson to keep things moving and one feels that it is largely due to his pressure that this recovery attempt is even taking place.