HOUMA, La. (WGNO) — “Our investigation can’t change the outcome of this tragic event, but our team is determined to examine every aspect of this incident, push for any needed changes to enhance maritime safety and prevent similar casualties from occurring in the future,” said United States Coast Guard Captain Tracy Phillips.
An emotional two weeks comes to an end, as the United States Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board conclude the Seacor Power Hearing.
“Our board is absolutely committed to finding out exactly what happened in this accident,” said Capt. Phillips.
Friday, two naval architects testified, sharing their expertise on the engineering and regulations of the ship. Jaideep Sirkar, a naval architect with the U.S. Coast Guard, mentioned that his team is studying a discrepancy with the ship. The board, asking him if the study is a result of the accident.
“It did not come as a result of this accident. We had been considering this for quite some time. This was a known issue, once we started looking at certain types of whole-forms that did not neatly fit within the construct of the regulations,” said Sirkar.
Another naval architect, David Hodapp, provided his expertise on wind loads and wind tunnels, which can impact ships at sea.
“We really are taking a look at how you calculate the pressure that the wind is causing on the side of the boat, which is really pushing the boat over,” said Phillips.
When asked if forces from the wind loads and wind tunnels could overturn a ship like Seacor’s Hodapp said this:
“We purposefully segregated this from any discussion on stability and just focused on the accuracy and repeatability of the wind load estimates and did not get into the multiple different use cases of these wind load estimates,” said Hodapp.
The final day of hearings, wrapping up after Hodapp’s testimony.
Now, the board must figure out what caused the Seacor ship to capsize, bring answers to the families of the thirteen crew members last at sea and find ways to prevent an accident like this from happening again.
Now, the analysis portion of the investigation begins, where the board will look over the evidence they have to determine what caused this tragedy. It’s unclear how long it could take, and another hearing could happen if additional witnesses come forward.