The Coast Guard on Monday said it was suspending its search for eight remaining crew members of a 129-foot commercial ship that capsized off Louisiana last week.
Crews from multiple agencies, including Coast Guard boat and aircrews and good Samaritans, searched for 175 total hours, covering more than 9,200 square nautical miles after the ship, the Seacor Power, capsized amid high winds and seas Tuesday afternoon with 19 people aboard, according to the Coast Guard.
“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 crew members home to their loved ones.”
Seacor divers would continue salvage operations until the entire vessel is searched, Seacor president John Gellert said Monday.
Six people were rescued the day of the accident, four by good Samaritan boat crews who responded to a Coast Guard broadcast, officials said.
The bodies of two people were recovered Wednesday and Thursday, officials said. David Ledet, 63, of Thibodaux, was found Wednesday and Ernest Williams, 69, of Arnaudville, was recovered Thursday, according to the Coast Guard and coroner.
Three other bodies were also recovered, according to the Coast Guard.
The National Transportation Safety Board said Monday that an investigation into the capsizing could take 12 to 24 months.
The Seacor Power capsized around 8 miles south of Port Fourchon, the Coast Guard has said. It received an emergency position indicating radio beacon notification around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday of a vessel in distress.