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“We lost everything,” says Petersburg couple after belongings lost when ship sank during Hurricane Joaquin

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Richmond, VA -- A local couple tells CBS 6 their car and most of their belongings are on the bottom of the ocean, after their cargo sank on the El Faro ship.

El Faro was the freight carrier that was heading to Puerto Rico from Florida and prompted a massive search after it disappeared during Hurricane Joaquin, taking the lives of 33 people.

When Ken Damrau and Leslie Linowkski decided to move from Petersburg to Puerto Rico, they knew it would be difficult but they didn't expect to lose most of what they own.

But that is what happened to the couple after El Faro sunk in the Atlantic Ocean, right where  Hurricane Joaquin was churning.

"We lost everything, everything is gone," Damrau said by phone.

Ken Damrau and Leslie Linowkski

Ken Damrau and Leslie Linowkski

While Damrau admitted what he lost, valued at nearly $100,000, was not nearly as irreplaceable as the life of the more than 30 crewmen that died on the ship.

"I still don't understand why the captain took a 40 year old ship and pointed it toward a hurricane," Damrau said.

El Faro

El Faro

Damrau said apart from losing irreplaceable items like family history, his car is now at the bottom of the ocean.

"The government only wants to give me $20,000 for something we paid $30,000 for," Damrau said in frustration. He said the biggest obstacle now is just living. They aren't expected to get a paycheck for at least a month.

Damrau said it has been humbling so many friends and strangers have donated to their GoFundMe page, rasing nearly $5,000 so far. If you would like to donate click here.

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