NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Planes and boats are headed to the Gulf of Mexico, as the United Cajun Navy joins the efforts to find the missing crewmembers of the capsized Seacor Power lift boat.
Todd Terrell, president of the United Cajun Navy, says while they are stepping in to help raise awareness of the search and rescue efforts, it costs thousands of dollars to fuel the planes and boats per day.
“These planes are running anywhere from $1,200 to $1,800 a day for fuel per plane. Shrimp boats are going to be a little bit more,” said Terrell.
With help from some friends of the show “Swamp People,” the nonprofit organization is hoping the public will step in to help as well.
“It was just one of them gut-wrenching feelings you get in your stomach and it just blew me away,” said Ronnie Adams, star of Swamp People.
Adams said when he heard the news of the missing crewmembers, he felt compelled to help out.
“I just wanna give everybody a piece of my heart to try to do what I can to help find the remaining victims,” said Adams.
Adams and his castmate Ashley Jones said the United Cajun Navy called them and asked them to help -- help use their platform to raise awareness.
“I know what it’s like to lose a loved one that you really care about especially being sudden and I just wanted to do what I could to help these families just get some kind of closure,” said Jones.
The United Cajun Navy is hoping to raise money to keep planes and boats fueled up for the search efforts. Terrell said they’re hoping to raise at least $50,000.
“A lot of people are stepping up. This is a massive operation that we are undertaking. This is the largest operation that I’ve been involved in since 2005 Katrina,” he said.
The stars of Swamp People will be bowfishing during a live-streaming event for fans while bringing awareness to what’s going on in the Gulf.
For Adams, the search hits close to home.
Years ago, he said he taught and coached Chaz Morales in high school. Morales is one of the crewmembers still missing.
“When I heard that he was one of the missing people.. it just blew me away. And not just him, but I just felt like I had a need to get down here to help out and search for these guys,” said Adams.
Both Adams and Jones said Louisianans are resilient and are always willing to come together to help their own.
“I just think it’s important for people who have those platforms to do What they can especially in times like this,” said Jones.
And when time means everything, they’re hoping to get the search going and bring closure to families back on land.
To donate to the cause, visit www.thecajunnavy.org to help with fuel costs to keep the search going.
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