NEW ORLEANS — The U..S Coast Guard is dealing with treacherous conditions as they continue to search for the 12 missing crew members from a commercial boat that capsized off the coast of Port Fourchon southwest of Grand Isle.
Dramatic images from the USCG show a choppy and dangerous Gulf of Mexico as they work to save crew members from the Seacor Power lift boat.
The distress call coming around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.
“The time of the incident, the on scene weather conditions were challenging – 80-90 mph winds, 7- to 9-foot seas and extremely limited visibility,” explained USCG Second Commander Will Watson during a media briefing on Wednesday.
Even with adverse conditions the Coast Guard arrived on scene within 30 minutes. Multiple people in the maritime industry are also offering to join the search efforts.
“It’s been tremendous,” said Watson of both surface and air assistance.
The weather is still dangerous as rescue crews are navigating 8- to 10-foot seas. Luckily crews are focused on a fixed location because the vessel is not drifting.
“I won’t tell you that those conditions can’t be challenging, but we are out there and we’re committed to the search and rescue efforts,” said Watson.
“We are searching in that area and in a successive pattern out from that area given the uncertainty of where these folks may or may not be.”
Bruce Simon was on a ship seven miles away from the Seacor Power and heard the distress calls.
“It caught everyone unexpected(ly),” recalled Simon. “All you heard was ‘mayday, mayday, mayday, we’re taking on water’ or ‘mayday, mayday, mayday, we are going down.’”
The Coast Guard is talking with survivors as well as the company, but the main focus is search and rescue. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards also tweeted asking the state to continue praying for those still missing.
WGNO did receive a statement from Seacor Marine and in part they did say that their prayers go out to everyone involved.