The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(NEW ORLEANS) — The Coast Guard continues the search for 11 missing crewmembers from the mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) Deepwater Horizon.
Overnight, the Coast Guard continued active search and rescue operations with two cutters that remained on scene:
Coast Guard cutters Cobia, an 87′ patrol boat homeported in Mobile, Ala.
Coast Guard cutter Zephyr, a 179′ coastal patrol boat homeported in Pascagoula, Miss.
Two aircraft are scheduled to be on scene at first light to continue the search efforts and two Coast Guard cutters are expected to be on scene later in the morning to relieve the Zephyr and Cobia.
These assets include:
One MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter and crew from Air Station New Orleans, La.
One HC-144 Ocean Sentry rescue plane and crew from Aviation Training Center, Mobile, Ala.
Coast Guard cutters Pelican, an 87′ patrol boat homeported in Abbeville, La.
Coast Guard cutter Coho, an 87′ patrol boat homeported in Panama City, Fla.
Seventeen total sorties have been completed by air and surface assets and approximately 1940 square miles have been searched.
Watchstanders at the U.S. Coast Guard District Eight command center here received a report at approximately 10 p.m. Tuesday of an explosion and fire aboard the Deepwater Horizon, approximately 42 miles Southeast of Venice, La.
Reports indicate that there were 126 people on board the MODU at the time of the explosion. Of the 126 people, 115 crewmembers have been accounted for. Of those accounted for:
Seventeen crewmembers were medevaced from the scene
Ninety-four crewmembers were transported to Port Fourchon and moored at approximately 1:20 a.m. Thursday.
There were no major injuries reported for these members.
Four crewmembers were transferred to a separate vessel.
Video is available at the following link: http://cgvi.uscg.mil/media/main.php?g2_itemId=46
Further updates will be available on the following Web site: http://www.d8externalaffairs.com/go/site/2931/
Family members can contact the following number for additional information: (832) 587-8554.
The fire is still burning and the cause of the explosion is under investigation. The investigation is a cooperative effort between Mineral Management Service and the U.S. Coast Guard.