In July, Katie and Keith Griffin found out they were expecting. On Sept. 24, they found out they were expecting twins. "He was out on sea but I called him on Facebook Messenger because I wanted to see his face," Katie tells People. "He was so happy and was in tears." Her husband wasn't out to sea on just any ship—he was the first engineer on board the doomed El Faro cargo ship. On Sept. 30, the couple emailed back and forth. "He said it was rough and stormy and that he loved me. He didn't plan on getting much sleep." The next day, the El Faro went out of contact, and Katie never heard from her husband again. On Tuesday, the same day she found out their twins are both girls, the Coast Guard confirmed the ship sank after getting caught in Hurricane Joaquin.
The couple originally planned to keep the gender of their baby a surprise, until they learned they were having two and changed their minds. "He always wanted to know, but I didn't," says a crying Katie. "It was so awful," the Florida 33-year-old says of the moment she learned her babies' genders. "I broke down. I should be happy, but that fact that I'm not going to be able to share my two little girls with him is heartbreaking." On Wednesday, the Coast Guard ended the search for the El Faro and its 33-person crew. "He's never coming home," Katie says. "I wish they would search for him forever." She told the Boston Herald earlier this week, "My babies are all I have left of him now." CNN has profiles of the crew members.