WASHINGTON, D.C. (KLFY) – Louisiana Senator John Kennedy and Representative Clay Higgins, both republicans, plan to call on the homeland security committees, in the House and Senate, to hold hearings on the Seacor power lift boat accident.
“We’re going to get to the bottom of this to find out what happened, why it happened,” said Kennedy. “Was this an act of nature, or was there some negligence?”
The lift boat capsized on April 13th, eight miles south of Port Fourchon. Six crew members were rescued, six died, seven are still missing.
The U.S. Coast Guard has taken some heat for their role in the search and rescue. A Coast Guard cutter was at the accident scene, rescued one of the crew, then went back to shore because he was seriously injured, all while there were men still on the boat. Those men were either killed or remain unaccounted for.
“Our intention won’t be to try to punish anybody or blame anybody. We just need the facts,” said Kennedy.
Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy is giving his support.
“This event was devastating for the Louisiana families and communities involved,” said Cassidy. “We should investigate the degree to which this tragedy was preventable to ensure it never happens again.”
“Part of the truth is not the whole truth,” said Higgins. “Therefore, the investigative efforts to reveal the whole truth must be carefully and deliberately considered here.”
Higgins recently went to the accident site to get an up close look at the lift boat. He received a briefing from the Coast Guard. Higgins says there are many things he learned he can’t discuss.
“Across the board, there will be lessons learned, and in some isolated areas there will be acknowledgement of responsibilities of decisions that were made,” said Higgins.
The chairmen of the homeland security committees are democrats. Bennie Thompson, of Mississippi, is chairman on the House side. Gary Peters, of Michigan, is charmain on the Senate side.
If they allow hearings to be held, it is likely commercial and civilian eyewitnesses who were there at the scene of the capsized lift boat that day, and the Coast Guard, would be called to testify to explain their actions.