SEACOR LATEST: 8 remain missing from capsized lift boat as Coast Guard suspends search

Louisiana News

PORT FOURCHON, La. (KLFY) Eight people remain missing after the Seacor power capsized in the Gulf last Tuesday.

In all, 19 people were on the vessel; six were saved and five are dead.

Seacor Marine, the boat’s owner, is making a promise to the families.

Chris Welty is in Port Fourchon with the details.

Seacor Marine is vowing to continue sending divers until the entire vessel is searched.

That promise giving a glimmer of hope.

For the first time publicly John Gellert, president of Seacor Marine shared his sympathies with the families and gave possible insight into the captain’s actions during the storm.

“as far as we can make out, there was about five feet of leg that was retracted from the hull. That leads us to believe the captain was starting to jack down on position for safety.”

Gellert maintains it was the captain’s call to head out.

“Almost all of his 50 years were on lift boats. He was one of our best captains and very prudent and conservative. We’re very confident he wouldn’t go out if he had any doubt whatsoever.”

Seacor Marine is supporting the families with hotel rooms, meals and grief counseling.

For days, loved ones called on the company to do more.

“Some say y’all weren’t doing enough as a company to rescue the people off the boat. Do you feel that y’all did enough and if so, why?

“We have response plans for events like this and they’re vetted annually by contractors. Don Jon Smith was the named responder in our response plan and were immediately activated. Don Jon Smith had divers on scene within four hours of the incident and have continued to increase their presence as needed and as the weather has allowed. We feel we have done everything in our power and all of the resources available to continue the response.”

The Coast Guard acknowledges moving forward will not be easy.

“The overriding factor is a person’s or the probability that a person can survive given the conditions they’re experiencing.”

The NTSB’s investigation could take a year to two to complete.

“The people involved both at sea and ashore. We will look at the vessel and equipment and also, we will look at the conditions that were there on the day of the accident.”

As the investigation begins the coast guard is hopeful lessons will be learned to prevent this from ever happening again.

The main focus is finding those eight missing crew members.

Seacor has 17 divers searching the boat to find those missing men.

In Port Fourchon, Chris Welty, KLFY, News 10.

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