VIDEO: Coast Guard to suspend search and rescue operations at sunset; NTSB investigating
PORT FOURCHON, La. (WVUE) - The U.S. Coast Guard announced Monday that it is suspending its search for the remaining missing Seacor Power lift boat crewmembers 8 miles south of Port Fourchon.
Eight crewmembers remain missing.
Six were rescued last Tuesday.
The search will officially end at sunset Monday.
At a news conference Monday, Seacor says 17 divers are on site, but the current is extremely strong.
The Lafourche Parish Coroner Monday confirmed the identity of a fifth man pulled from the lift boat as 36-year-old Lawrence Warren of Terrytown, La.
Coast Guard boat and aircrews, local agency crews and good Samaritans searched for a cumulative 175 hours, covering over 9,200 square nautical miles.
“We extend our appreciation to everyone who volunteered to assist during the search effort. Suspending a search is one of the toughest decisions the Coast Guard has to make,” said Capt. Will Watson, commander of Coast Guard Sector New Orleans. “Our crews searched continuously over the past six days with the hope of bringing the missing crewmembers home to their loved ones. I would like to extend my deepest and most sincere condolences to the families, friends and loved ones--all those impacted by this terrible tragedy. I know that this is an immensely difficult time for you all, and for the entire maritime community.”
A spokesman for the NTSB says the investigation into what happened could take 12-24 months to complete.
“This was a major disaster... and we want to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” said NTSB.
Rescue assets involved in the search:
- The pre-commissioned Coast Guard Cutter Glen Harris crew
- Coast Guard Cutter Amberjack crew
- Coast Guard Cutter Moray crew
- Coast Guard Cutter Benjamin Dailey crew
- Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew
- Coast Guard Station Grand Isle 45-foot RB-M boatcrews
- Coast Guard Station New Orleans 45-foot RB-M boatcrews
- Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crews
- Two Coast Guard Aviation Training Center MobileHC-144 Ocean Sentry airplanes crews
- Two Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater HC-130 Hercules airplane crews
- Two Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters
- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries crews
- Port Fourchon Harbor Patrol
- Port Fourchon Sherriff’s Department
- Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office
- One commercial air medical service crew
- Donjon Marine commercial divers
As of Monday afternoon, five bodies have been recovered.
The other men recovered have been identified as 53-year-old Anthony Hartford of New Orleans, 63-year-old David Ledet of Thibodaux, 55-year-old James Wallingsford of Gilbert, La., and 69-year-old Ernest Williams of Arnaudville.
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