Two days after the Seacor Power liftboat capsized off the coast of Louisiana, the Coast Guard is holding out hope there are survivors trapped on the boat.
The wrecked ship is partially submerged in the water and grounded 55ft deep, with divers attempting to reach it and rescue the remaining 12 crew members on Thursday.
The boat owned by Seacor Marine capsized on Tuesday in the face of hurricane-force winds in the high seas.
On Wednesday, the Coast Guard confirmed that one person had died, while six had been rescued, leaving 12 missing without a trace.
The Coast Guard began searching for survivors of the lift boat capsize on Tuesday
The Coast Guard has spent the past three days looking for surviving crew members
They have also declared the incident a ‘major marine casualty,’ although the definition of that can be vague.
The Coast Guard left open the possibility that the crew members could still be somewhere on the vessel, though.
‘We don’t know for certain, right now, but that’s something that we’re looking into as the investigation unfolds,’ said Coast Guard spokeswoman Ensign Shelly Turner.
‘We’re trying to figure that information out, but it is a possibility right now.’
Six people have been rescued so far, though one person is confirmed to have died
Poor weather has hampered search efforts for the Coast Guard so far
Family members of the missing crew members are even more hopeful, however, as ten divers went into the waters off Port Fourchon on Thursday.
‘I have a really good feeling today,’ Marion Cuyler, engaged to missing crew member Chaz Morales, said to NOLA.com on Thursday.
Cuyler claimed that one of the rescued crew members stated that the other crew members were still on board.
There are still 12 crew members missing, though there is no evidence they’re in the water
The Coast Guard has been running search and rescue efforts since Tuesday
‘The guy who got rescued said they are in there — all 12 should be in there in rooms waiting to be rescued,’ Cuyler stated.
Cuyler also said that Thursday’s briefing brought word that there was no evidence of crew members being in the water.
Two of the crew members may be in the engine room, Cuyler relayed from officials, which is part of the vessel that’s not yet submerged.
Air pockets could exist in some of the rooms where the crew members may be, although they may not remain viable for long.
‘It’ll be just a pocket inside a rectangular tank, and to get into that pocket, almost certainly, you’ve got to swim into it and try to hold onto something,’ Bil Stewart of Stewart Technology Associates said to KHOU.
‘It wouldn’t be something that anyone would want to experience.’
The sweep of the area around the wreckage is expected to last approximately four days.
The Seacor Power left Port Fourchon around 1:30pm on Tuesday during a break in the inclement weather, before hurricane-force winds suddenly struck.
The boat capsized around 4:30pm in the Gulf of Mexico with waves as high as 7 to 9ft high, leading to the rescue effort from the Coast Guard.
The 129ft commercial vessel was hit by winds up to 90mph, which it was not fit to withstand.
A sweep of the area around the wreckage is expected to last approximately four days
The Coast Guard has so far searched an area that is approximately the size of Hawaii.
The Coast Guard is using night vision technology to allow the search to continue overnight.
‘We are saturating the area with available resources to assist in the rescue mission, and we will continue to do so,’ said captain Will Watson.
‘Whenever we engage, the Coast Guard engages in a search and rescue effort we are hopeful.’
David Ledet, 63, has been identified as the lone known fatality so far. He was captain of the vessel.
KHOU reports a FLIR imaging video of the boat was taken on Wednesday morning, which could help detect if there’s movement within the ship itself.
It’s unclear what the results of the imaging video showed.
The ship is a type of service vessel often used by energy companies for offshore construction projects or to service oil rigs.
Port Fourchon is a major base for the oil and gas industry, supporting most of Louisiana’s offshore platforms and drilling rigs.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards tweeted on Wednesday, ‘Please join @FirstLadyofLA and me in praying for those who remain missing after yesterday’s capsizing off the coast of Grand Isle and for those who are working to rescue them.’
‘They love their daddy and he loves his babies so much,’ Darra Morales said to KHOU of Chaz Morales, one of the missing crew members. ‘We need him to come home.’
Seacor Marine did not release a new statement about the incident on Thursday.