The US Coast Guard (USCG) has called off its search for the crewmembers who remain missing from capsized lift boat Seacor Power
The USCG said it was suspending its search for the crewmembers that went missing after Seacor Power overturned in a hurricane-force squall 13 km off the coast of Port Fourchon, Louisiana in the US Gulf of Mexico.
Six of the vessel’s 19 crew were rescued on the day of the storm, and six bodies have been recovered.
Coast Guard boat and air crews, local agencies and private vessels and aircraft have been involved in a search that has covered more than 9,200 square nautical miles, according to the USCG.
“We extend our appreciation to everyone who volunteered to assist during the search effort. Suspending a search is one of the toughest decisions the Coast Guard has to make,” USCG commander of Coast Guard Sector New Orleans Captain Will Watson said.
“Our crews searched continuously over the past six days with the hope of bringing the missing crewmembers home to their loved ones. I would like to extend my deepest and most sincere condolences to the families, friends and loved ones – all those impacted by this terrible tragedy. I know this is an immensely difficult time for you all, and for the entire maritime community.”
Local news reports have reported that private divers continue to search the wreck site and private seaplanes are continuing to search from the air.
17 April, 2021
Stormy weather conditions have hampered recovery operations.
As of 16 April, six people had been rescued and the bodies of four other missing crew had been recovered, according to the US Coast Guard.
US National Transportation Safety Board lead accident investigator Andrew Ehlers, US Coast Guard Captain Will Watson, Sector New Orleans Commander and Seacor Marine chief executive John Gellert will hold a press conference in Cut Off, Louisiana, today at 1 pm CST.
As we initially reported, six crew were rescued on 13 April after the lift boat Seacor Power capsized about 13 km off of the Louisiana coast in an unexpectedly strong storm. Since our report, four bodies have been found – one on 14 April, one on 15 April and two on 16 April. Initial reports indicated 18 were on board, with the USCG now reporting 19 were on board.
Weather conditions have made the recovery operation difficult. During a press conference, Capt Watson reported winds of 143 km per hour, with seas of 2.1 to 2.7 m. The lift boat remains overturned in 17 m of water.
Seacor Marine has hired commercial divers from DonJon Marine to help in the recovery. Those divers recovered two bodies on 16 April.
“Our deepest sympathy goes out to the family, friends and loved ones of everyone involved in this tragic incident,” said Capt Watson. "We are using every asset available to us to continue our search efforts.”
Seacor Power is a three-legged lift boat with a maximum working depth of 59.44 m, according to details on Seacor Marine’s website. Built in 2002 as Dixie Endeavor by Semco, the US-flag lift boat has a fair market value of US$1.82M and is insured by Skuld, according to UK-based ship valuations firm VesselsValue.
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