Nonprofit formed by family and volunteers after United Cajun Navy leaves search

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — A new nonprofit has formed to continue the search for the missing crew of the Seacor Power after the United Cajun Navy announced they are stepping away.

United Cajun Navy responds to accusations of improper handling of donations

The Gulf Coast Humanitarian Efforts nonprofit was made by volunteers and Scott Daspit, the father of Delcambre native Dylan Daspit who is one of seven men missing. Each donation made will go toward continuing the search.

“We essentially started with a net-zero balance to fund this search and rescue when the United Cajun Navy stepped away,” explained Gulfcoast Humanitarian Efforts Vice President Christifer DeRouen.

With the Coast Guard and the United Cajun Navy transitioned out of the search, volunteers are banding together to keep the hope of families alive. DeRouen was one of the earliest volunteers having lost a child himself.

“I followed every bit of news that would be released just like everyone else enthralled with the entire situation, and there was a Sunday where I just said, ‘I can’t just watch,’ and I drove down to Fourchon,” he recalled.

Taking a leave from his job as an electrician in New Iberia, he’s been bunked at Cocodrie and Port Fourchon to make sure those on the water and in the air have everything they need. Over the weekend and into Monday, it meant getting a nonprofit started as soon as he could. Partnering with Lift Acadiana, donations can now be made online directly to the families or the search on one website unlike before.

DeRouen questioned how the Cajun Navy operated and allocated its funds. “There was a lack of faith in the way that certain things were being ran is the best way I can put it, but the only way that myself and others, Mr. Scott Daspit, felt comfortable moving forward was to have our hand in it,” he said.

Derouen added one of the big reasons he helped start Gulfcoast Humanitarian Efforts is to prevent Mr. Scott Daspit from going broke over finding his own son. He also wants to make it as easy for boats to join the search by provided fuel, food, and more.

The search effort is now relaunching from Port Fourchon and expanding West. More technology will be used, and the amount of time passed is likely to make finding remains easier.

“No matter what until the families are done, we’re not done,” DeRouen concluded.

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