U.S. Coast Guard: Search and Rescue Efforts in Seacor Power Incident Will Be Suspended at Sunset
According to Captain Will E. Watson, search and rescue efforts from the U.S. Coast Guard will suspend at sunset today.
This means that resources from the Coast Guard, including boats on surface waters and aircraft, will end at sundown. Watson says he spoke with the families about the difficult decision to suspend search and rescue efforts for the eight remaining crew members that remain missing.
We extend our appreciation to everyone who volunteered to assist during the search effort. Suspending a search is one of the toughest decisions the Coast Guard has to make. Our crews searched continuously over the past six days with the hope of bringing the missing crewmembers home to their loved ones. I would like to extend my deepest and most sincere condolences to the families, friends and loved ones--all those impacted by this terrible tragedy. I know that this is an immensely difficult time for you all, and for the entire maritime community.
The next step, according to authorities at the press conference, will be an investigation into what caused the Seacor Power to capsize, and to figure out how to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again in the future. The timetable given for the investigation was 12-24 months.
Seacor Marine CEO John Gellert says divers have made it "halfway through the vessel" and that diving will continue.
Seacor will also communicate directly with family members and release updates on the incident "when appropriate." Gellert says that Seacor remains "steadfast in our efforts to return those who remain missing."
When asked about data or information that led the Coast Guard to make the difficult decision to suspend their search for the eight remaining crew members, Captain Watson said that the leading factor was the probability that someone could survive given the conditions, which in this case was the sea.
A reporter asked the Captain if this would be considered the largest maritime disaster in recent history given the potential amount of casualties, to which he answered that he would not make that statement due to families who have faith and have not given up hope.
See the entire press conference via KATC below.