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Initial Report On Gulf Shipwreck Confirms A Squall Capsized The Seacor Boat

U.S. Coast Guard
The capsized Seacor Power on the evening of the accident, with a Coast Guard response boat in the foreground.

Federal investigators have released their initial report on the Seacor shipwreck last month, confirming that bad weather caused the accident just off the coast of Port Fourchon.

There were 19 people aboard the 175-foot-long Seacor Power on April 13 when a storm hit. Six people were rescued by the Coast Guard and volunteers, six died in the accident and seven remain missing.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) interviewed survivors, previous crew members, search-and-rescue responders and others. They found that a squall passed over the boat that afternoon and visibility dropped, at which point the crew decided to lower the legs and position the vessel until the storm passed. But as the boat was turned towards the wind, it capsized.

Several crew members were able to escape onto the exposed port side of the boat. But high wind and 10- to 12-foot-tall waves made it hard to rescue them. Some crew members were washed into the Gulf and one man who survived was seriously injured.

Investigators will return to the scene when the boat is salvaged. The investigation is ongoing and could take more than a year to complete.

Support for the Coastal Desk comes from the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and local listeners.

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