The body of a 36-year-old man from Terrytown, LA has been recovered from the capsized Seacor Power. Officials confirmed that the body was recovered on Sunday night. The discovery brings the confirmed status of the crewmembers onboard the lift boat when it capsized to six rescued, five dead, and eight missing.
Shortly after it was reported that a fifth body was found, officials from the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed that operations to search for survivors would halt at sunset on Monday afternoon.
"We've had to make the difficult to decision to suspend search and rescue efforts at sunset today," said Coast Guard Captain Will E. Watson. "The overall factor is the probability that a person can survive given the conditions."
Reports indicate that the man’s body was recovered from the second level of Seacor Power. The vessel, which capsized off the coast of Louisiana last Tuesday, remains partially submerged in the water. Ongoing weather conditions interfered with multiple attempts by rescue divers to reach the vessel.
So far, three bodies—including the most recent—have been recovered by divers from the overturned boat. The other two bodies were pulled from the water—one shortly after the accident and the other 33 miles away a few days later.
Families of the missing were informed of the Coast Guard’s decision Monday morning at a Port Fourchon firehouse, where they’ve been waiting and hoping for good news.
"There was a lot of hugging and a lot of crying," Watson said. "There was a lot of sadness and grief."
The Investigation Into the Seacor Power’s Capsizing Begins
Members of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) arrived in Louisiana last week. Drew Ehlers, a lead investigator at the NTSB, estimates that the agency’s work will take between 12 and 24 months.
The lift boat is owned and operated by Seacor Marine and was on a mission to deliver goods to a platform owned by Talos Energy. Over the weekend, Talos Energy released a statement denying that it played any role in sending the Seacor Power out during a storm.
On the day that the Seacor Power capsized, the National Weather Service warned of strong winds and “suddenly higher waves” in the area.
"The Seacor Power was in port for service and inspections for several days prior to its departure," Talos said in a statement. "The vessel was not at a Talos facility and was fully under the command of its captain and Seacor Marine, including when to depart the port."
The NTSB’s investigation will focus on the weather that day and who made the decision to send the Seacor Power on a mission in hazardous conditions.
"People really are the heart of what we do, and that's why we focus on getting the answers right. We want to be sure we support the families and prevent an accident like this from happening again," Ehlers said.
The NTSB is requesting anyone who might have videos, pictures, or information about the Seacor Power to reach out. It’s looking to people who were on the water the day of the accident as well as any past crew members who might have information to offer.
If you have information for the NTSB, you can contact the agency via email at eyewitness@NTSB.gov.
Our Seacor boat accident attorneys will follow the investigation as officials release more details.