Local marine survival director explains challenges with Seacor Power lift boat disaster

Lafayette Parish

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – The crew members who were on board the Seacor Power lift boat had little time to prepare for what became a deadly boat disaster in the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday.

The director of the Marine Survival Training Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Terry Crownover, said this was a rapidly developing emergency, where the crew had only minutes to deal with the situation at hand.

Crownover has been training people sea survival safety for over three decades. Most workers in the Gulf go through extensive training to deal with these types of situations, however, Crownover said this happened fast.

“Usually you’re going to have less than 10 minutes, and you’re probably going to be on your own,” Crownover said.

Crownover said the entire boat would need to be searched to find survivors, which proves to be difficult for the divers. Each individual room would need to be looked through like the kitchen and livings spaces.

“If it’s happening quickly, how do you respond and what you do would be through your own personal training,” Crownover said.

The training for workers on the Gulf is extensive he says and students go through several real-life scenarios before ever going off shore.

As the Seacor Power search and rescue operation continues into the evening, divers have struggled to search or enter the boat because of the weather.

Families are hopeful their loved ones are found safe inside of the boat.

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