United Cajun Navy responds to accusations of improper handling of donations

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(KLFY) — The Seacor Power lift boat capsized 8 miles off the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, April 13.

The United Cajun Navy deployed its volunteers on Sunday, April 18th.

Founder Todd Terrel says, “We have planes, boats, and ATVs in the western part of the state.”

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search and rescue mission the next day and the non-profit group continued those efforts to try and find the seven missing crewman.

Last week, Terrell updated News Ten on where the search efforts were headed.

“Our guys in Cameron, the Holly Beach area, coordinated from there. We are working from Louisiana and Texas and coming together in the middle,” Terrell explains.

Now, nearly two weeks after those efforts began, the United Cajun Navy announced on its Facebook page that it would stop.

Spokesperson for UCN, Brian Trascher, says, “Usually we have an internal policy capping it at two to three weeks. We were having meetings and leaning towards keeping it going because of the circumstances.”

Trascher says the decision comes after former affiliates of the group started spewing accusations to family members of the missing men.

“It’s a group of about eight people, we have protective orders against them. They slander the United Cajun Navy. They were volunteers who were asked to leave for reasons,” continues Trascher.

He says throughout the search, the mission of the United Cajun Navy and its operations didn’t change.

They are a non-profit organization of neighbors helping neighbors with search and rescue and disaster relief, supported by volunteers.

Trascher adds, “People saw the amount of donations coming in. Some people thought they should have been compensated. We don’t pay volunteers.”

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