Search Continuing for a Dozen Missing After Lift Boat Capsizes Off Port Fourchon; 6 Rescued, 1 Deceased
Update 2: In a morning news conference, U.S. Coast Guard New Orleans Sector Commander Captain Will E. Watson confirmed the vessel as the Seacor Power operated by Houston-based Seacor Marine and provided an update on the ongoing mass search operation in the waters south of Port Fourchon.
So far, six people have been rescued, one deceased victim has been recovered, and a search is continuing for 12 missing people, according to Capt. Watson.
Winds during yesterday’s storm were reported around 80-90 mph. “This level of weather was not anticipated,” Capt. Watson said in the news conference. The investigation into the circumstances of the incident is on-going so few details were released.
The search is continuing today amid challenging weather.
The Seacor Power remains stationary and is possibly grounded, Capt. Watson noted.
According to Seacor Marine’s website, Seacor Power can carry up to 40,488 gallons of fuel oil, but at this point there is minimal environmental damage, Capt. Watson said.
Watson also thanked the maritime industry for the huge outpouring of support they have received along with offers to assist in the ongoing search effort.
Update 1: No new updates overnight. The Coast Guard has scheduled a news conference for 11 a.m. CDT. in New Orleans. Seacor Marine has confirmed to various media outlets that it was one of their vessels.
April 13: The U.S. Coast Guard and multiple Good Samaritan vessels rescued six people after a commercial lift boat capsized Tuesday afternoon off Port Fourchon.
A search for multiple people still missing continues 8 miles south of Port Fourchon, Louisiana.
Coast Guard watchstanders received an EPIRB notification at 4:30 p.m. from a 129-foot commercial lift vessel in distress. The watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast, which multiple good Samaritan boatcrews responded to.
The crew of the pre-commissioned Coast Guard Cutter Glenn Harris, a 154-foot Fast Response Cutter, arrived on scene within 30 minutes and rescued one person from the capsized vessel. A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Grand Isle rescued another person and good Samaritan vessels on scene rescued four other people from the water.
Local media reports have identified the vessel as the Seacor Power, operated by Seacor Marine.
As of 11 p.m. CDT, the name of the vessel and how many people were on board had not yet been confirmed by the Coast Guard, however preliminary reporting indicates there could have been eighteen people on board.
An earlier report by the Coast Guard incorrectly stated the.vessel was a 265-foot lift boat. Seacor Power is actually a 265 Class lift boat with jacking capability of 244 feet max separation and 195 feet max working depth. It has three legs total about 250-feet each. It appears in the photo at the top of the article that the legs were up, which makes sense assuming the vessel may have been underway prior to the capsizing.
Lift boats are basically self-propelled and self-elevating barge-like vessels used for various jobs in shallow-water offshore oil and gas activities and offshore construction. They jack their legs down to the seabed, providing a stable platform for working offshore. They can also be equipped with large cranes.
AIS data shows the Seacor Power departed Port Fourchon earlier in the afternoon:
The National Weather Service in New Orleans earlier issued several Special Marine Warnings for the waters south of Port Fourchon and Grand Isle after a strong line of thunderstorms moved through the area and pushed offshore.
Assets involved in the search include:
- Coast Guard Cutter Glenn Harris
- Coast Guard Cutter Amberjack
- A Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-65 Dolphin helicopter
- Two Coast Guard Station Grand Isle 45-foot RB-M
- HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplanes from Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi and Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile
- Four good Samaritan vessels
This story is developing, check back for updates…
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