On Thursday, searches are continuing following the capsizing of a lifting vessel on Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico, just south of Port Fourchon off Louisiana's coast.
So far, federal investigators have now joined in the work to uncover information about the capsizing incident. The NTSB confirmed with KATC that they would be assisting the Coast Guard in their investigation.
The Coast Guard is still leading the investigation.
On Wednesday, updates from the Coast Guard stated that 12 men were still missing. Six had been rescued so far, and one death was confirmed. Sources close to the investigation identified the crew member who died as David Ledet. A family member, who identified herself as a cousin, posted about Ledet's passing.
Official identification of that person has not been announced. Divers are expected on scene Thursday afternoon to continue search efforts for those missing.
Family members have confirmed to KATC that at least four Acadiana men were on board the boat capsized in the Gulf yesterday.
Continuing rough seas are making the search and rescue process more difficult, authorities say. We have no official information about who was on the boat and who has been recovered.
But we have spoken with family members of men who were on the boat.
The fiance of Jay Guevara of Lafayette confirms to us that he was on the boat. The family does not know the status of Guevara's fate at this time.
The family of Gregory Walcott, 62, of Abbeville, also tells us he was on the boat. The family says that they have not heard anything from Seacor or the Coast Guard on an update for Walcott as of Wednesday.
His niece, Crystle Randle, says, "We don't have any words. It's just...it's like a bomb just exploded without any notice. We're all just in a state of shock right now. We're just staying in good faith that he will be found alive."
According to Walcott's sister, he has worked offshore for 20 years, and this moment is one they never imagined.
Family members of Dylan Daspit of Iberia Parish confirm he was on the boat. They remain without knowledge of his whereabouts.
His wife, Hannah Coleman Daspit, asks that “everyone pray for a miracle. He needs to come home to his family. We can’t live without him.”
The family of Quinon Pitre, 31, from the Lawtell area, tells us he also was on the boat when it capsized. They also tell us they have not been told of his status.
We spoke with Misty Pitre, Quinon Pitre's sister, who said the waiting is "Physically sickening. Not knowing anything, just waiting." She said she last spoke with her brother on Monday. Since the boat capsized, she said she and her family have tried making calls to area hospitals but have received little information about who was brought in and who wasn't.
Additionally, a representative with Seacor Holdings tells KATC that two colleagues were onboard the power lift boat at the time.
"Our two men are unaccounted for at this time. We are deeply concerned about the situation and hoping for the best. We are monitoring the search and rescue operations, which are still underway at this time," a spokesperson said.
On Wednesday evening, Seacor released a statement on the capsizing, saying they are working on recovery efforts, and thanked those searching.
"We are deeply saddened by the news of the vessel capsizing and are working closely with the U.S. Coast Guard and local authorities to support all efforts in locating our valued team members and partners. We want to thank the U.S. Coast Guard and Good Samaritan vessels for their immediate response, as well as the brave individuals who have further supported our search and rescue efforts. Our hearts and prayers go out to everyone involved."
The Coast Guard says search operations are ongoing about 8 miles south of Port Fourchon, where the Seacor Power, a 129-foot lift boat, capsized on April 13 during severe weather.
In an update on Wednesday, the Coast Guard Second Commander Will Watson says they received a distress call On Tuesday at 4:28 p.m. about the Seacor Power capsizing.
#UPDATE #HappeningNow the @USCG continues its search for missing people from a capsized lift boat south of the #Louisiana Coast.#Ready, #Relevant, #Responsive pic.twitter.com/r4dKOhfh3X— USCG Heartland (@USCGHeartland) April 14, 2021
Officials in Lafourche Parish said that 18 or 19 crew members were on board.
An emergency call was received by Coast Guard watchstanders at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday. An urgent marine information broadcast was then made to boat crews in the area.
The Coast Guard says that pre-commissioned Coast Guard Cutter Glenn Harris, a 154-foot Fast Response Cutter, arrived on the scene within 30 minutes and rescued one person from the water. Multiple good Samaritan vessels rescued four people, and a Coast Guard Station Grand Isle 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew rescued another.
Rescue crews involved in the search:
- Coast Guard Cutter Glenn Harris
- Coast Guard Cutter Amberjack
- A Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-65 Dolphin helicopter
- Two Coast Guard Station Grand Isle 45-foot RB-M
- HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplanes from Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi and Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile
- Four good Samaritan vessels
Governor John Bel Edwards stated the capsizing, asking for prayers for those missing those working to rescue them.
"Please join First Lady Donna Edwards 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," the post reads.
U.S. Coast Guard Station Grand Isle posted photos of damage left behind on Tuesday by strong storms that swept through Louisiana.
KATC first reported this story.