(KLFY) — Here is a timeline of events involving the sinking of the Seacor Power, the search for her crewmembers and the organizations who are continuing the search for those still missing.
The Seacor Power, a lift boat owned by Seacor Marine, capsizes several miles south of Port Fourchon, Louisiana with 19 crewmen on board. Six men are rescued the day of the incident, six died, and seven still remain missing to date. Those rescued have never been publicly identified.
A microburst of severe weather causes the craft to capsize just after 4 p.m. The National Weather Service said that a “wake low” weather pattern resulted in 70 to 80 mph winds, and very rough seas.
The body of Captain David Ledet, 63, of Thibodaux is found.
The bodies of Ernest Williams, 69, of Arnaudville; Anthony Hartford, 53, of New Orleans; and James Wallingsford, 55, of Gilbert are found.
The United Cajun Navy, a local nonprofit organization, deploys volunteers to help in the search efforts for the missing men.
The body of Lawrence Warren, 36, of Terrytown is found.
The U.S. Coast Guard calls off their search and rescue efforts less than a week after the incident, saying that it is improbable the missing men would survive.
Week of April 19
A local nonprofit is formed in response to the disaster in late April with the goal of supporting the families of crewmen from Acadiana.
The body of Quinon Pitre, 31, of the Church Point area, is found.
KLFY learns that when the Coast Guard aided in the rescue of the six men, a cutter had to leave behind a few men who were waiting for rescue because the man they did save was seriously injured.
A helicopter dropped life vests and a radio down to the crew members, and the Coast Guard was in radio contact with them. The men said they were going back into the vessel, then communication was lost. It is unknown if those men were among the six found dead, or are part of the seven still missing.
The first two lawsuits are filed against the companies involved in the incident. The wife of Dylan Daspit and the fiancée of Jay Guevara file multi-million dollar suits against Seacor Marine, Seacor Liftboats, and Talos Energy, saying they put profit over lives. These are the first two of six lawsuits that have been filed to date.
A Unified Command is established by the Coast Guard to manage the salvage operations of the Seacor Power. It comprises of Coast Guard Capt. Wade Russell and Joseph Ruiz, a general manager with Seacor Marine.
Week of April 26
Two Louisiana lawmakers, Senator John Kennedy and Representative Clay Higgins, get involved. They hope to help find the truth of what happened on April 13.
They have introduced bills in Congress. They also plan to call on the homeland security committees, in the House and Senate, to hold hearings on the accident.
The Coast Guard and Seacor Marine begin their salvage operations to remove the Seacor Power from the Gulf to prevent any environmental pollution.
United Cajun Navy suspends search efforts. The decision comes after people accused the group of monetary misuse.
Week of May 3
A new nonprofit, Gulf Coast Humanitarian Efforts, is established by Scott Daspit, the father of missing crew member Dylan Daspit, of Lafayette after the United Cajun Navy pulls out of the search.
Salvage crews start removing fuel from the lift boat’s fuel tanks through a method called hot tapping, which allows for drilling into fuel tanks and making a hose connection without ruining the integrity of the tank or causing pollution impacts.
Lift Acadiana expands its support to the families of all 13 missing or deceased crewmen.
U.S. Sen. John Kennedy and U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins ask the Senate and the House, respectively, to open congressional hearings into the Seacor Power disaster.
A lifeguard on a beach in Port Aransas, Tx., finds the hard hat of missing crewmember Dylan Daspit, nearly 600 miles from the site of the capsizing.
The National Transportation Safety Board released its preliminary report into the fatal capsizing of the liftboat Seacor Power. The preliminary report is available online at https://go.usa.gov/xHtJx.
U.S. Coast Guard officials announce they have finished draining the fuel tanks of the Seacor Power and are moving toward debris removal and refloating the vessel.
A rescue basket from the Seacor Power is found in Cameron Parish.
Seacor Power survivor Dwayne Lewis shares one of the first stories of what happened during the capsizing in a federal lawsuit.
Seacor files a countersuit against the families in the disaster in an attempt to limit liability and damages.
KLFY’s Tracy Wirtz hosts an exclusive, candid interview with Dylan Daspit’s father — Scott Daspit. The interview touches on the continuing search and rescue, relations with the United Cajun Navy, and the emotional toll the disaster has inflicted on the Daspit family.
Three more lawsuits are filed against Seacor Marine, Falcon Global Offshore, and Talos Energy on behalf of two survivors and the wife of a crewman still missing. All three suits maintain that the defendants failed to communicate weather warnings issued by the National Weather Service to the crew of the Seacor Power.
The unified command that was established to oversee salvage operations for the lift boat hold a meeting to update families of crewmen of their salvage efforts. The command predicts that the operations should be complete by the month’s end.
The company responsible for search and rescue efforts is sued for the first time. The family of a man found dead in the Seacor Power claim in the suit that the company did not act fast enough to save the lives of the crewmen.
Congressman Clay Higgins requests that more investigatory actions regarding the tragedy be taken. Higgins questions U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Karl Schultz during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing.
A diver who was involved in the search and rescue efforts exposes what he believes were unsafe working conditions for the dive crew.
The Coast Guard will hold a two-week-long formal public hearing to consider evidence related to the capsizing of the Seacor Power and the loss of 13 of its 19 crewmembers.
Coast Guard begins public hearings. For the first time, a witness who saw the Seacor Power incident testifies under oath. Ted Duhtu was the captain of another lift boat that was nearby, and he recounted what he witnessed when the Seacor Power capsized.
All the witnesses on the third day of the public hearings were members of the Coast Guard. Watch commanders and rescue teams testify on what went wrong in the emergency response. They say that the Coast Guard received major misinformation the night the Seacor Power capsized.
Rescuers with a helicopter rescue crew recount the tragic story of attempting to rescue crewmembers of the Seacor Power.
The second week of public hearings begins. The National Weather Service testifies about the weather conditions the day of the incident. Due to internet connectivity issues, weather alerts did not get through to the ship.
The parent company of the Seacor Power testifies on why it took so long to send divers to the site of the ship to check for survivors.
Public hearings on the incident come to a conclusion. Officials with the Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board gave final statements, and two naval architects testified to share their knowledge on engineering and regulations of the ship.
Six months after the Seacor Power capsized — families of crewmen are still waiting for answers. Salvage operations were disrupted and ultimately halted by Hurricane Ida. Scott Daspit, the father of one of the still-missing crew members, talked with News 10 about life without answers about his son.
March 28, 2022
News 10 uncovered that the living quarters are still buried in the Gulf of Mexico. We spoke with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), United States Coast Guard (USCG), Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office, and more, to confirm this information.
April 13, 2022
The 13 victims who lost their lives were memorialized. Six were confirmed dead, and seven were never found. They each have a permanent place on the Lady of the Gulf Shrine in Port Fourchon now. Family, friends, loved ones, survivors, and more gathered to hold a celebration of life/memorial for the men.
Oct. 18, 2022
The investigation has been closed by the National Transportation Safety Board. The board’s final report absolved the captain and the vessel’s owner, Falcon Global Offshore II, LLC, of responsibility for the sinking.
- Dylan Daspit, 30, of New Iberia
- Jay Guevara, 35, of Lafayette
- Chaz Morales, 37, of Slidell
- Gregory Walcott, 62, of Abbeville
- Jason Krell, of Texas
- Darren Encalade, of Belle Chasse
- Cooper Rozands, of Houma
We will continue to update this story as our coverage continues.