News regarding the Seacor accident has taken an even grimmer turn over the weekend. On Saturday evening it was learned that the owner of the Seacor Power, an oil rig lift boat, ordered the watercraft to take to the sea despite perilous warnings from the National Weather Service that tropical storm strength winds and “suddenly higher waves” were imminent.
A few hours later and a mere eight miles from the shore, catastrophe struck. Hurricane strength wind gusts combined with crushing waves toppled the Seacor, capsizing the craft. 19 crew members were onboard at the time of the cataclysmic capsize.
Search and rescue operations technically were continuing as of Saturday evening. Nonetheless, as the sun set over the Gulf Coast on Saturday, little hope remained that any additional Seacor accident survivors would be found.
An update on the Seacor accident search and rescue efforts has been provided by Coast Guard officials:
- Of the 19 crew members onboard at the time of the Seacor accident, six have been rescued since the vessel capsized
- The rescued crew members were all pulled from the Gulf in the direct aftermath of the capsizing of the lift boat
- Four bodies have been recovered by the Coast Guard
- Rescue personnel and watercraft design experts believe that some crew members could have survived for period of time in air pockets that would have been created within the upturned lift boat after the vessel capsized
- Saturday represented the fifth day search and rescue efforts have been underway following catastrophic Seacor capsizing
- As mentioned a moment ago, odds are growing slimmer that any further crew members will be found alive
A lift boat like the Seacor Power, also known as a jackup barge, is not designed for rough weather and bad seas like what was experienced on the afternoon the watercraft toppled over. The Seacor Power weighs nearly 2,300 tons and is designed to become a temporary oil rig, complete with an 11,000 square foot platform. The barge is 234 feet in length. Large extendable legs are up in the air when the craft is at sea. When it reaches its ultimate destination, the legs are lowered downward into the seabed.
The Seacor Power is owned by Seacor Marine, a Houston-based company. The Seacor Power was hired by Talos Energy to work on one of that company’s Gulf oil rigs. On Saturday afternoon, despite hiring the Seacor Power to serve at one of its oil rigs, Telos is attempting to distance itself from the tragic accident. Telos issued a statement in which it fully cast responsibility for the Seacor Power taking to sea on the shoulders of Seacor Marine. As of Saturday evening, no one from Seacor Marine had yet to publicly respond to questions being raised about the deadly capsizing.
As the search and rescue effort continues into its fifth day, an investigation into the how the Seacor Power overturned already is well underway. The investigation into the catastrophe is being headed up by the Coast Guard. The National Transportation Safety Board is assisting the Coast Guard in this effort.
What is known is that Port Fourchon doesn’t maintain a harbor master system responsible for giving vessels the go-ahead to take to sea, which is the case in places like the Port of New Orleans. Rather, the decision to take to the water despite forecasted inclement weather conditions rests entirely in communications between a vessel’s captain and, in this case, the owner of the Seacor Power. These communications are a prime focus at the early stage of the investigation.
If you’ve lost a loved one in the tragic Seacor accident, the legal team at The Doan Law Firm is here for you at this incomprehensibly challenging time. You can schedule a consultation with a Doan Law Firm Seacor accident lawyer anytime convenient for you by calling us at (800) 349-0000. A nationwide law firm, we’ve 40 offices located from coast to coast across the country. We can also schedule a consultation with you at your home or any location works for you. We can arrange a virtual appointment online as well. There is never a charge for an initial consultation with a Seacor accident lawyer from our firm.