Divers attempted to reach the capsized Seacor Power off the coast of Louisiana all day Thursday. Weather interfered with their efforts, and volatile conditions—much like those that caused the lift boat to overturn—continue to affect the Gulf area.
In a news conference regarding efforts to find a dozen crew members who are still missing, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) delivered the news that no one has wanted to hear.
"While search efforts for the crew are continuing, the incident has been declared a major marine casualty," the USCG said. “The Coast Guard is leading a preliminary investigation and the National Transportation Safety Board will be joining in that effort."
While the term “major marine causality” is typically used for offshore accidents that have six deaths or more, members of the USCG are saying they haven’t determined the number of deaths caused by the capsizing. According to Petty Officer 3rd Class Carlos Garza, the Seacor Power’s capsizing is considered a major marine casualty because the lift boat weighed over 100 tons and has sustained damage of over $2 million.
Families of Missing Seacor Power Crewmembers Remain Hopeful
A fiancée of one of the missing crew members spoke to the press on behalf of all families with missing loved ones on Thursday. She said that everyone was trying to have hope as divers searched the waters off Port Fourchon for their family members.
“I have a really good feeling today,” she said from outside of a Port Fourchon firehouse. “But I don’t know if it’s because I’ve gotten more than 20 minutes of sleep for the first time in 48 hours.”
The crew member’s fiancée revealed that she had spoken with one of the six people pulled from the water after Tuesday’s capsizing. They told her no one else but the rescued workers were in the water. One man, the vessel’s captain, was pulled from the water dead.
Since no other survivors have been found during extensive searches by boats, planes, and helicopters, she is holding out hope that it’s a sign that survivors could be inside the capsized jackup barge. A portion of the vessel can be seen rising above the water.
“The guy who got rescued said they are in there — all 12 should be in there in rooms waiting to be rescued,” she commented. “We’re trying not to think the worst. We have to keep the hope and faith alive.”
In the meantime, members of the Coast Guard threw heavy, weighted lines against the hull of the Seacor Power. Their intention was to make noise and give anyone inside the hope that help is on the way.
Investigation Into Louisiana Capsizing Begins
Meanwhile, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is on the scene to join the investigation. The agency, along with the waiting families, is curious as to why the Seacor Power was sent into extreme weather that it isn’t designed to handle.
The vessel was hired by Talos Energy to make a delivery to one of its platforms. Currently, it remains unknown if Talos played any role in Seacor Marine’s decision to send the lift boat into conditions it couldn’t handle.
Our Seacor lift boat accident attorneys remain dedicated to following any updates associated with this incident.