(PORT FOURCHON, La.) — Six people were rescued and a dozen others were believed to be missing after a liftboat carrying 18 people capsized in the Gulf of Mexico in a storm on Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. Coast Guard and The New York Times reported.
The capsizing occurred about 8 miles off Port Fourchon and involved the 129-foot SEACOR Power, according to a spokesman for Houston-based SEACOR Marine.
The spokesman, Armond Batiste, said in a brief telephone interview early Wednesday morning that 18 people had been on the vessel before it capsized. He said he was unable to provide further details.
MarineTraffic lists the vessel’s destination as Port Fourchon.
The capsizing drew a large-scale rescue effort that continued late into the night, with help from civilian boaters. The Coast Guard said it had deployed two cutters, two smaller boats, a helicopter and an airplane.
Severe weather pounded Louisiana on Tuesday, bringing wind gusts in excess of 60 miles per hour and an average of 3 to 5 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service.
U.S. Coast Guard report:
(NEW ORLEANS) — The Coast Guard and multiple good Samaritan vessels rescued six people from a capsized commercial vessel Tuesday and are searching for more 8 miles south of Port Fourchon.
Coast Guard watch standers received an emergency position indicating radio beacon notification at 4:30 p.m. of a distressed 129-foot commercial lift vessel. The watch standers issued an urgent marine information broadcast, which multiple good Samaritan boat crews responded to.
The crew of Glenn Harris, a 154-foot fast response cutter, arrived on scene within 30 minutes and rescued one person from the capsized vessel. A 45-foot response boat-medium crew from Coast Guard Station Grand Isle rescued another person and good Samaritan vessels on scene rescued four other people from the water.
Rescue assets searching:
Coast Guard cutter Glenn Harris
Coast Guard cutter Amberjack
Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-65 Dolphin helicopter
Two Coast Guard Station Grand Isle 45-foot RB-M
Four good Samaritan vessels
An HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi