Salvage efforts on the capsized Seacor Power have begun about three weeks after the lift boat tipped over during serious weather. Crews began removing fuel from the vessel that’s still capsized just off the coast of Port Fourchon, Louisiana.
Crews are using a method called hot tapping to remove fuel from the vessel. This process uses pressure, drilling, and hoses to remove fuel from tanks while minimizing pollution. Since the lift boat remains partially submerged, divers are performing the hot tapping above and below the water.
Seacor Power capsized on April 13 with 19 crew members on board. It was heading toward an oil rig to deliver supplies. Six survivors were rescued shortly after the accident, and search efforts quickly started for the missing people. As of this post, nine bodies have been recovered, either from the vessel or from waters around Louisiana’s coast. Seven crew members remain missing.
Some have questioned why Seacor Power was attempted to make a delivery run during severe weather.
The U.S. Coast Guard established a Unified Command during salvage efforts. It consists of Coast Guard members and representatives from Seacor Marine, the owner of the boat. Estimates place the amount of fuel, lube oil, hydraulic oil, and waster oil on the vessel at approximately 35,000 gallons. The Seacor Eagle—another vessel owned by Seacor Marine—is participating in the salvage operation.
Volunteers Continue Search for Lost Seacor Power Crew Members
After the Coast Guard suspended its search efforts, the United Cajun Navy continued to help families search for their loved ones. Now, with the Cajun Navy suspending search operations, community search efforts remain as the last hope family members have for closure.
“It is very moving because this is something we are known for, we always come together even though we don’t know each other,” Pastor of St. Joseph Co-Cathedral in Thibodaux Vicente DeLa Cruz said to reporters.
Volunteers have shifted their attention to Vermillion Bay to look for any signs of missing Seacor Power crew members. St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office has joined efforts to find the missing men.
“We offer all of our condolences and sympathy, that’s why we’re out here to bring some kind of resolution,” Sheriff Blaise Smith said.