PORT FOURCHON, La. (KLFY) — June 22 marks the 70th day since the Seacor Power capsized in the Gulf of Mexico. With each growing day, the families of the crew are desperate for answers.
19 people were aboard the Seacor Power when was overcome by waves on April 13. Six were rescued, six have died, and seven remain missing, including three men from Acadiana.
In part three of our analyzing the latest meeting between families and officials in charge of the recovery, News Ten’s Neale Zeringue explains why more communication is wanted. It’s a story you’ll see only on 10.
We previously detailed the extensive damage to the lift boat and how the salvage plans have changed, but according to families, that’s information they had to discover themselves instead of first being told by Seacor.
“So the bad weather happened May 18 through the 25, and none of the family has been told at all until that it rolled and that happened, correct?”, one woman asked in the June 9 meeting.
Representatives from Seacor and Donjon Salvage said they waited two to three weeks after a bad weather event to let families know the Seacor Power liftboat was no longer intact and thereby exposed to wildlife and the current. Their reasoning was they wanted to get a clear picture of exactly what happened through sonar.
Seacor Operations Manager Joey Ruiz explained, “We felt like we needed to get everybody in a room to explain the situation in the room versus trying to call. It’s much better to do it in person where y’all can see it.”
The problem is volunteers and families had already seen it.
“We as volunteers decided to get close enough where we could take pictures, and we noticed it from a mile away that vessel completely capsized and the port side leg had detached, and we’re a mile away. You’re on top of it. How do you not know?”, asked Christifer DeRouen, Vice President Gulfcoast Humanitarian Efforts, in an interview with KLFY.
Currently, families are supposed to receive daily text updates, but Scott Daspit, the father of a missing New Iberia native Dylan Daspit told Seacor, “It really hasn’t been accurate because boats are still moving. Parts are coming in. Hell, the heliport was in prior to it actually coming, ya’know…” Ruiz cut in and stated, “Mr. Scott, all I can say is we’ll do a better job about that.”
Scott Daspit and other family members asked if he could be on the Seacor Eagle during the recovery or a Terrebonne Parish Sheriff boat during transit of debris for transparency’s sake. He was told no for both, the latter for insurance reasons.
Families are expecting another meeting once three major pieces of debris, the bow, stern, and top three floors of the Seacor Power, are placed in the MARS Houma scrapyard; however, conditions in the Gulf keep pushing the timeline back.
At one point in the family meeting recording, Daspit can be heard asking, “Why can’t we get some information? And if worse comes to worst, I’ll just file the freedom of information act and I’ll get it. And if it’s going to get that bad, I’m going to make sure I’m going to get all information between the divers of Donjon, Salvage, U.S. Coast Guard, and Seacor. All text messages, emails, everything. Then maybe we can get everything if that’s what it takes.”
You can make a donation to volunteer search of Gulfcoast Humanitarian Efforts here.
News 10 reached out to Seacor, Donjon Salvage, and the Coast Guard multiple times, but no one has answered our requests for comment.