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Commercial ship missing after capsizing off the coast of Louisiana



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The Coast Guard said that on Saturday afternoon, a 129-foot lift boat sank eight miles from the Port of Fuquan in Los Angeles and rescued six people. The rescue operation continued into the night.

imageA video recording of the bow of the ship during the severe storm caused a 129-foot lift ship to capsize near the port of Rafour.
credit…WAFB

Authorities said that on Tuesday afternoon, a commercial ship was rescued from a capsizing about eight miles off the coast of Louisiana. Six people were rescued and several others were missing.

According to the Coast Guard, the incident occurred at about 4:30 pm near the Port of Fourchon, Louisiana, in the Gulf of Mexico, involving a 129-foot commercial crane vessel.

“We are still looking for more people,” said Jonathan Lally, a petty officer, a spokesman for the Coast Guard’s Eighth District, in an interview on Tuesday night. Officials said they did not know how many people were on board. There is also no information about the owner of the ship.

This situation caused a large-scale rescue effort. Civil aviation boat people helped the Coast Guard conduct a search, and the search continued late on Tuesday night. The Coast Guard said that as part of this work, it has deployed two cutters, two small boats, a helicopter and an airplane. Earlier, it said the ship had capsized on Los Angeles’ Grand Isle, which is about 18 miles northeast of the Port of Fourchon and about 100 miles south of New Orleans.

The National Weather Service said the state was hit hard by the harsh weather on Tuesday, with gusts exceeding 60 miles per hour and an average of three to five inches of rain.

imageIn 2016, a crane vessel was used as a work platform to assemble wind turbines near Block Island, Rhode Island.
credit…Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

“I have never heard too many MAYDAY calls in my life!” One person, Bruce J. Simon, wrote in a Facebook post, which was shared more than 3,000 times. “The waves are overturning the bow! A lift boat has turned over.”

He also said that “other ships have turned over” and urged people to “pray for the lost!” Later, Mr. Simon posted two short videos of a window soaked in rain, watching the waves hit the bow of the ship.

The message sent to Mr. Simon via Facebook did not return immediately.

The lift vessel is a self-propelled work vessel with an open deck commonly found on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. They support drilling, construction and ocean exploration, and can work in shallow or deep water environments according to their own jack-up capabilities. They can use outriggers and jacking systems.

Lew Serviss contributed the report.


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