A fifth body of a SEACOR Power crewmember was recovered Sunday, bringing the total number of fatalities in the capsize of the lift boat to five. Six people have been saved. Eight are still missing.
Today, the Coast Guard said it will suspend its search for the remaining crewmembers at sunset tonight.
Coast Guard boat and aircrews, local agency crews and good Samaritans searched for a cumulative 175 hours, covering over 9,200 square nautical miles.
John Gellert, president of the vessel’s owner, SEACOR Marine, told a press conference today that divers from Phoenix International and salvor Donjon Smit will continue their efforts until the vessel has been completely searched.
“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.”
The investigation of the incident by the National Transportation Safety Board is already underway and the agency is requesting that any eyewitnesses come forward.
You can see a replay of today’s press conference below.