Search efforts continue after six of 19 people were plucked from a lift boat that capsized in rough waters off the Louisiana coast on Tuesday.
In an update Wednesday, the U.S. Coast Guard said crews had recovered a body from the water, multiple outlets reported.
Rescuers resumed their search early Wednesday just south of Grand Isle near Port Fourchon, according to WWL-TV. Lafourche Parish President Archie Chaisson confirmed that 12 others who were onboard were still missing as of that morning.
The Coast Guard’s Fast Response Cutter was on scene within 30 minutes Tuesday after watchstanders got word of a 129-foot lift vessel in distress just before 4:30 p.m., officials said in a news release. Several good Samaritan vessels also showed up to aid in the rescue.
It’s believed the Seacor Power, a commercial lift boat owned by the Houston-based Seacor Marine, began taking on water around 4 p.m., WWL-TV reported. Meteorologist Chris Franklin said winds reached upwards of 70 mph offshore Tuesday with gusts hitting triple digits, according to the news station.
The National Weather Service in New Orleans also issued a Special Marine Warning for the coastal waters stretching from Port Fourchon to the lower Atchafalaya River through Tuesday evening. Parts of southwest Louisiana remained under a severe weather threat Wednesday morning amid heavy storms with the risk for “damaging wind gusts in excess of 60 mph,” forecasters said.
Tuesday’s rescue involved the Fast Response Cutter, which pulled one person from the water, and a Coast Guard Station Grand Isle boat crew who rescued another. Four others were saved by good Samaritan vessels, officials said.
Seacor Marine released a statement Wednesday thanking the Coast Guard and private boaters for their efforts.
“We are deeply saddened by the news of the vessel capsizing and are working closely with the U.S. Cost Guard and local authorities to support all efforts to locate our valued team members and partners,” the company said, according to WDSU. “Our hearts and prayers go out to everyone involved.”