The hope is that crew members may be in an air pocket in the capsized lift boat.
- BY CARLIE KOLLATH WELLS | STAFF WRITER
- PUBLISHED APR 16, 2021 AT 8:44 AM | UPDATED APR 16, 2021 AT 9:20 AM
Coast Guard divers are planning to continue searching the capsized Seacor Power lift boat Friday for 12 missing crew members.
The ship flipped over Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico during bad weather about 8 miles south of Port Fourchon off Louisiana's coast. The ship's captain, David Ledet, was found dead in the water. Six crew members were rescued by the Coast Guard and good Samaritan vessels, but 12 more are missing.
Coast Guard members used a hammer Thursday to knock on the hull of the vessel but didn't hear a response, the agency said in its evening update. The hope is that crew members may be in an air pocket in the capsized ship.
They continued the search overnight by air and sea, scanning an area roughly the size of Hawaii.
“There is the potential they are still there, but we don't know,” Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Lally said Thursday. “We're still searching for 12 people because there are 12 still missing.”
Part of the overturned ship's hull and one of its legs were still visible, leaving most of the vessel underwater, in an area 50 to 55 feet deep, according to the Coast Guard.
Stormy weather this week has complicated the search. More rain is in the forecast Friday and Saturday.
Thermal imaging has led the Coast Guard to believe at least two of the missing crew members are still on board.
Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Carlos Galarza said thermal imaging shot from an airplane flying over the Seacor Power revealed five crew members on the hull the night it capsized.
Rescuers aboard a Coast Guard vessel then saw those five crewmembers on the wreckage. A helicopter team dropped them radios as well as life jackets, Galarza said, and two of the five jumped into the water and were saved by rescuers.
According to reports from others using radios, a third fell into the water and hasn't been located since, Galarza said.
When weather conditions complicated the rescue effort, the remaining two crew members on the hull went head back into the ship.
They were last heard from around 10 p.m. Tuesday.
Staff writers John Simerman and Ramon Antonio Vargas contributed to this story, along with The Associated Press.