Divers recovered two unresponsive crewmembers from the overturned lift boat Seacor Power on Friday, bringing the death count to four with nine still missing after the vessel capsized in extreme weather conditions in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday.
U.S. Coast Guard and other local responders have been scouring the area by sea and air since the 234-foot Seacor Power overturned in rough seas and hurricane force winds approximately 8 miles south of Port Fourchon, La. Six crew members were rescued, four have been pronounced dead and nine are still missing.
"Our deepest sympathy goes out to the family, friends and loved ones of everyone involved in this tragic incident," said Capt. Will Watson, commander of Coast Guard Sector New Orleans. "We are using every asset available to us to continue our search efforts."
Donjon Marine divers hired by the lift boat's owner Seacor Marine have been searching the area but have had to pause on several occasions due to dangerous weather conditions.
The Coast Guard said it is possible that survivors could still be inside the capsized vessel, but there was no response when divers knocked on Seacor Power's hull on Thursday.
The Coast Guard is not releasing the names of the mariners who were serving on board the Seacor Power out of respect for the privacy of their family members.
The 2,276 GRT lift boat, also called a jack barge, has three extendable 250-foot legs that can reach the sea floor and two 185-ton cranes. The vessel, often used by energy companies for offshore construction projects or to service oil rigs, is owned by Seacor Marine, a marine transportation company based in Houston. It was built by SEMCO in 2002 and is classed by ABS.
The disaster has been declared a major marine casualty, and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has joined the Coast Guard-led investigation into the incident.
The Coast Guard and NTSB are planning to hold a press conference on Monday afternoon to provide updates to the response effort.