Second body recovered as search continues for 11 still missing from capsized ship off Louisiana coast

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew spotted a person in the water at 7:10 p.m. while searching the area on Thursday, the Coast Guard said. The Coast Guard cutter Benjamin Dailey recovered the man and transported him to Coast Guard Station Grand Isle where he was pronounced dead. The identity of the man recovered is not being released at this time.
Dive teams resumed search operations Friday afternoon for the 11 people still missing, the Coast Guard said. Six people were rescued and one body was recovered immediately after the accident on Tuesday. The capsized vessel has now been declared a major marine casualty by the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard’s 8th District Headquarters said in a tweet that divers knocked on the hull of the capsized vessel Thursday but did not hear a response. Search operations had continued through the night with air and surface assets.

“Our rescue crews have been diligently continuing the search and rescue efforts for the missing people from the capsized vessel,” said Capt. Will Watson, commander of Coast Guard Sector New Orleans.

A Coast Guard boat heads toward the capsized commercial liftboat while searching for people in the water on Tuesday, April 13.

He added that each case is dynamic and it is “always our hope to safely bring those people back and reunite them with their friends and families.”

A 45-foot response boat, helicopter, plane, and cutter are currently involved in searching what Watson calls “a very fixed location” because the vessel is not drifting. Port Fourchon Parish has deployed a search boat as well, according to Watson, noting that the water temperature is above 70 degrees.

According to the US Search and Rescue Task Force, the human body can survive prolonged periods of time in the water as long as the temperature is around or above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

As of Wednesday night, rescue teams have searched more than 1,440 square miles, the Coast Guard said.

“We are out there and we are committed to the search and rescue effort,” Watson said, adding later that he was “hopeful” as they continue their mission. It is possible there may be some individuals still inside the body of the vessel, according to Shelley Turner, a public information officer with Coast Guard Sector New Orleans.

Officials said the vessel is a 129-foot commercial liftboat known as the Seacor Power and operated by Seacor Marine. The details of where the ship was going and its mission are still under investigation. Liftboats are used to service oil platforms and other offshore assets like wind farms.
According to the Code of Federal Regulations, a major marine casualty is a casualty “involving a vessel, other than a public vessel” that results in the loss of six or more lives, more than $500,000 in property damage, hazardous material threat to life, property, or the environment, or the loss of a mechanically propelled vessel at or more than 100 tons.

CNN’s Gregory Lemos, Christina Maxouris and Joe Sutton contributed to this report

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