BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Members of the United States Coast Guard Thursday threw a heaving line and hammer at the hull of a capsized lift boat as they tried to make contact with “potential survivors” of Tuesday’s accident that has left 12 workers missing.
The Coast Guard later said it did not receive a response from the efforts.
Divers arrived on scene Thursday to make their way to the vessel. However, weather conditions initially prevented the divers from making their way to the boat. A Coast Guard spokesman said at 4:45 p.m. Thursday he could not confirm if the divers, who are privately contracted, had been cleared to enter the water.
The incident has now been declared a “major marine casualty,” the Coast Guard said Thursday afternoon. The Coast Guard will lead the investigation with the National Transportation Safety Board’s assistance, the agency said.
The lift boat, called the SeaCor Power, capsized during severe weather Tuesday afternoon, eight miles south of Port Fourchon, near Grand Isle, Louisiana. 19 people were on board. Six were rescued alive. One person was deceased when pulled from the water.
“Coast Guard air and surface assets continued to search overnight, and the search will continue throughout the day,” the Coast Guard said in a statement Thursday afternoon. “Coast Guard crews have searched for a combined 70 hours covering approximately 6,380 square miles, an area roughly the size of Hawaii.”
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