The tragic events of the Seacor Power continue to unfold just two days after it capsized in the Gulf of Mexico just 8 miles south of Port Fourchon, Louisiana. With new information that has surfaced by rescue teams and other experts, many questions have formed.
What Is A Liftboat, And Are They Safe?
Liftboats look like a barge and are made up of three to four legs that are planted into the seafloor. These vessels are commonly found in the Gulf of Mexico and are used in the petroleum industry. According to David Bourg—a New Orleans naval architect—these boats undergo rigorous safety design standards which have been in place for more than two decades. All liftboats, including the Seacor Power, are designed to stay afloat because of their ability to shift the water ballast and cargo on deck. According to reports, liftboats like the Seacor Power have the ability to withstand strong winds and fierce weather conditions, but only when proper safety procedures are closely followed.
Facts Surrounding The Seacor Power Liftboat At Time Of Capsizing
At this time, it is unknown whether these safety procedures were followed on the Seacor Power before it capsized, however, there is no doubt that weather conditions played a factor in the incident. According to weather reports, winds reached speeds of 80-90mph with 115mph wind gusts. The seas reached as high as 7 to 9 feet. Regarding visibility at the time the vessel capsized, U.S. National Guard Captain Will Watson described it to be “extremely limited.”
Many family members who have loved ones working on the vessel at the time it capsized have publicly expressed their sentiments regarding this tragic situation. One family member told reporters that she had begged her fiancée to not go out in the dire conditions. She further went on to say “He said that they were jacking down and they were about to head out, and I’m like, ‘The weather’s too bad. You need to come home.’ And he’s like, ‘I wish I could’.”
A captain of a different boat who happened to be in the water at the time the weather made a turn for the worse said “There was nothing we could do. One minute we were facing north, the next south, then east and west. Things were flying in the cabin.” This person later posted a video on Facebook which captured these treacherous conditions.
Update Regarding Search And Rescue Efforts
According to recent reports, crews have covered more than 1,440 square miles to find the remaining seamen. U.S. Coast Guard Captain Will Watson recently reported that “rescue crews have been diligently continuing the search and rescue efforts for the missing people from the capsized vessel.” He added that “anytime our Coast Guard crews head out for search and rescue, it is always our hope to safely bring those people back and reunite them with their friends and families.” As of now, Captain Watson has confirmed that 6 individuals were saved, 1 individual was found deceased, and 12 individuals were still missing. While search and rescue efforts to locate all who were onboard the Seacor Power continue, the investigation regarding the cause of the capsizing is also underway. On information and belief, Seacor Power has yet to provide a public statement regarding its knowledge about the events leading up to the accident.
More information will be provided as we continue to closely follow this tragic event.