A ship carrying 19 people capsized after encountering unusually rough weather in the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast Tuesday.
An emergency alert from the Seacor Power was sent out around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, then positioned eight miles south of Port Fourchon, Louisiana. Private vessels as well as Coast Guard ships and helicopters rescued six of the ship’s crew from the choppy waters, with the other 13 crew members still unaccounted for. The search for more survivors is ongoing.
Updated Wednesday, April 14, 2021 1:19 p.m. EST:
One person has died in the accident, according to NBC. The victim was not identified. Twelve people remain missing.
There is some conflicting reports over the number of crew members currently lost. The Associated Press is now reporting 18 crew members, with 12 still missing. A Facebook post from the Coast Guard shows the devastation on Grand Isle from what is being described as a “microburst” of bad weather.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards tweeted his support of the lost crew members:
The National Weather Service is reporting more strong storms moving through the area, which could potentially make searching for survivors even more difficult:
The capsizing of the 129-foot commercial lift vessel, used in support of oil exploration and drilling operations, is being blamed on unique weather conditions, according to NBC:
The area experienced a weather phenomenon, a “wake low,” Tuesday afternoon, which resulted in winds of 70 to 80 mph that would have made seas very rough, said Benjamin Schott, meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service’s New Orleans area office.
The search effort included an HC-144 Ocean Sentry plane from Corpus Christi, Texas, and four private vessels, in addition to several Coast Guard ships, boats and a helicopter.
Four people were rescued from the water by private vessels, the Coast Guard said.
The wake low was spun off from a complex of thunderstorms that moved through southeastern Louisiana, Schott said.
The ship can be seen in this horrifying footage nearly submerged in the high waves and sticking out at an unnatural angle.
It is currently unknown where the ship was heading when it ran into trouble. We will update this story as we learn more.