Search operations continue for 12 people still missing from capsized ship off Louisiana coast - East Idaho News

Search operations continue for 12 people still missing from capsized ship off Louisiana coast

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(CNN) — Rescue crews will keep searching overnight for the 12 people still missing after a commercial vessel capsized Tuesday several miles south of Port Fourchon, Louisiana, according to the US Coast Guard.

Six people were rescued and one body was found after the accident. The capsized vessel has now been declared a major marine casualty by the US Coast Guard.

Coast Guard Heartland said in a tweet that divers knocked on the hull of the capsized vessel Thursday but did not hear a response. Divers will resume their operations Friday but search operations will continue 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 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.

As of Wednesday night, rescue teams have searched more than 1,440 square miles, the USCG 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 Sector New Orleans Public Information Officer Shelley Turner.

Officials said the vessel is a “129-foot commercial lift vessel” called the Seacore Power and vessel and the details of where the ship was going and its mission are still under investigation.

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.