PORT FOURCHON, La. — “We’re giving it all we got.”
That is how New Orleans Coast Guard Sector Commander Captain Will Watson described the ongoing search and rescue effort for the missing crew members from the Seacor Power.
Tuesday, the 129-foot commercial platform vessel capsized in the Gulf of Mexico about 7 miles south of Port Fourchon.
“Whenever we engage, the Coast Guard engages in a search and rescue effort we are hopeful,” Capt. Watson said.
The Seacor Power overturned on its starboard side, partially submerged, and grounded in approximately 55 feet of water.
The search involves at least four Coast Guard vessels, four private ones and Coast Guard airplanes based in Corpus Christi and Mobile.
A Coast Guard helicopter also was being used.
“We are saturating the area with available resources to assist in the rescue mission, and we will continue to do so,” Watson said.
The ship capsized during a violent rainstorm which included 80-90 mile per hour winds and 7-to-10-foot seas.
“We don’t know the degree to which that contributed to what happened, but we do know those are challenging conditions to be out in the maritime environment is what we can say with fidelity,” Watson said.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the Coast Guard found one crew member dead, pulled 6 survivors out of the water and was still looking for 12 others.
There is also a possibility some crew members remain on the vessel.
“We don’ know for certain, right now, but that’s something that we’re looking into as the investigation unfolds,” Coast Guard spokeswoman Ensign Shelly Turner said. “We’re trying to figure to figure that information out, but it is a possibility right now.”
The Seacor Power was reportedly heading to a location about 40 miles east of Venice in the gulf when it capsized.
The Coast Guard is still investigating the vessel’s intended mission and why it set sail in such bad weather.
“We’re trying to figure this out as we go,” Capt. Watson said. “We’re talking to survivors. We’re talking to the company and so we’re focused on the search and rescue effort more than anything right now, but those details will come out in the days and weeks ahead when we learn more about what went on.”
The company that owns the ship, Houston-based Seacor Marine, set up a private hotline to share information with families of those on board.