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Seacor Power Ship Capsized: Search for 9 Missing Crew Enters 7th Day

The search for nine maritime workers missing since a lift boat capsized last Tuesday in rough seas off the coast of Port Fourchon, Louisiana, has entered its seventh day, as divers prepare to search the submerged vessel once again.

Remains of 3 More Crew Recovered Late Last Week

The Seacor Power, a 129- foot lift boat owned by Houston-based Seacor Marine, was on a 100-mile trip from Port Fourchon to a Talos oil platform on the other side of Louisiana’s bird-foot Mississippi River delta. But the vessel was caught up in a derecho-like storm just 8 miles south of its departure point, capsizing shortly before 4:30 p.m. on April 13th.

A total of 19 maritime workers were aboard the lift boat when it overturned. Six survivors were pulled from the sea that afternoon, one body was found last Wednesday, and 12 people were unaccounted for. The remains of three additional crew have since been recovered, one last Thursday and two on Friday.

Although prospects are dimming that anyone else will be found alive, families of the missing have not given up hope that at least some are surviving on air pockets inside the capsized vessel.

“We have hope,” the fiancé of one missing man wrote in a text to an Associated Press reporter over the weekend.

“We aren’t defeated. We will keep fighting.”

Private Divers Continue to Search Submerged Lift Boat

The U.S. Coast Guard continues to search an area the size of Rhode Island. Private divers went into the water on Friday morning but initially had to abandon their efforts because of rough seas. They resumed diving Friday afternoon, with their search continuing through the weekend.

Although Sunday was the first time seas were calms since the capsizing, divers searching the Seacor Power still face a difficult task.

“First of all, it has to be calm enough for them to penetrate that vessel to see if there are any survivors,” Diving expert Scott Anderson, president of Logan Diving and Salvage in Jacksonville, Florida, told Houma Today. “If it’s not, you don’t want to add more loss of life to a rescue effort. If the boat’s capsized or turned turtle, they would need to cut their way into the hull. But when they do that, it could be an air pocket that may be keeping the lift boat floating right now.”

Seacor Marine Made Call to Send Out Doomed Lift Boat

The Seacor Power transports workers and equipment to offshore drilling sites. It also has three legs that can lift the vessel out of the water to serve as a temporary platform. Like all lift boats, the bulky vessel isn’t designed to operate in rough seas.

According to Talos Energy, Inc., Seacor Marine decided to send the boat out last Tuesday.

“The Seacor Power was in port for service and inspections for several days prior to its departure. 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 company said in a statement released to The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate on Saturday.

Seacor Marine did not respond to Talos Energy’s statement.

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