More Volunteers Join United Cajun Navy's Search for Seacor Power Crew
Nearly two weeks after the capsizing of the liftboat Seacor Power off Port Fourchon, the search for the last missing crewmembers is still going - and growing.
The U.S. Coast Guard called off its search on April 19 after covering about 9,000 square miles over the span of 170 hours. However, the United Cajun Navy (UCN) has been operating two private seaplanes for its own aerial search since the beginning of the response. Its assets have grown to include four sea planes and three helicopters as of Saturday. The organization reports that an additional force of boats, airboats, marsh buggies, ATVs, search dogs and shoreline parties will be out on Monday to search an area where vessel debris recently came ashore.
"Many items from the vessel were recovered today and an area is being targeted first thing Monday morning. We've learned alot from the data that has been collected regarding currents and items recovered," the group said in a social media post. "Boats and ATV's are also coordinating with UCN into Texas. Seven families are still missing their loved ones and are hoping to get closure on their son, brother, friend."
The organization is covering the cost of fuel and food for volunteer search participants, and is appealing for donations to help with the expense. It is also seeking more motorboat and airboat owners to join in the search effort at Fourchon, Chauvin, Pecan Island and Vermillion Bay.
19 crewmembers were on board the Seacor Power when she capsized in foul weather on April 13. Six have been rescued, but seven are still missing and six have been found dead - making it the most serious accident in the U.S. Gulf offshore sector since the Deepwater Horizon blowout in 2010. The cause of the casualty is under investigation.
The charterer of the Seacor Power, Talos Energy, has suggest that the vessel operator (Seacor Marine) and the master were in sole control of the lift boat's movements at the time of the capsizing.
“The Seacor Power was in port for service and inspections for several days prior to its departure," Talos said in a statement. "The vessel was not at a Talos facility and was fully under the command of its captain and Seacor Marine, including when to depart the port."
Seacor Marine president John Gellert told a news conference on April 19 that the decision to depart port was "entirely the captain's."
Two of the families of deceased crewmembers have filed civil suits against Seacor Marine and Talos, alleging negligence.