The Seacor Power, a 129-foot commercial ship, capsized Tuesday afternoon during a violent storm, trapping 19 people underwater off the coast of Louisiana.
Six crew members were rescued Tuesday last week, but after three days the rescue effort turned into a recovery effort.
The search is being suspended at sundown Monday after the Coast Guard determined that enough time had passed and that it needed to “shift” the focus to a National Transportation Safety Board investigation. Watson said the “overriding factor is the probability that a person can survive given the conditions, over a period of time.”
“We just came here from talking to the families,” Coast Guard Captain Will Watson said during a Monday briefing. “Told them what I’m telling you all now. There was a lot of hugging and a lot of crying. There was a lot of sadness and grief. But there was also a lot of hope and a lot of faith, still. I just want to say to all those folks, our deepest sympathies extend to you all.”
The Coast Guard explained that Seacor Marine would continue its dive and response operations.
The Seacor Power capsized about eight miles away from Port Fourchon. The lift boat was en route to deliver equipment to an oil platform near the mouth of the Mississippi River when it encountered tropical storm-force winds and “suddenly higher waves.”