Divers elicit no signs of life in overturned liftboat

A Coast Guard rescue crew from Grand Isle approaches the capsized Seacor Power liftboat.

The U.S. Coast Guard will suspend its search and rescue operations in the wake of the Seacor Power capsizing effective at sunset today.

According to Capt. Will Watson, commander of the Coast Guard Sector New Orleans, the search has so far encompassed 9,268 square miles over the 175 hours and included multiple Coast Guard cutters, workboats and aircraft as well as assets from other organizations and Good Samaritans.

“We extend our appreciation to everyone who volunteered to assist during the search effort. Suspending a search is one of the toughest decisions the Coast Guard has to make,” said Watson during a press conference Monday afternoon. “Our crews searched continuously over the past six days with the hope of bringing the missing crew members home to their loved ones. I would like to extend my deepest and most sincere condolences to the families, friends and loved ones — all those impacted by this terrible tragedy. I know that this is an immensely difficult time for you all, and for the entire maritime community.”

Nineteen people were on board the Seacor Power when it was caught in high winds and seas as it left Belle Pass south of Port Fourchon Tuesday afternoon. Nineteen people were on board. Six were rescued Tuesday. Five have been recovered since then.

Eight remain missing.

The fifth person recovered after the Seacor Power capsized Tuesday, and the third recovered from within the vessel, has been identified.

According to the Lafourche Parish Coroner's Office, the body recovered from the second level of the liftboat's superstructure is that of Lawrence Warren, 36, from the Terrytown area on New Orleans' West Bank.

Dwayne Fatherree is the community editor for The Daily Iberian. He can be reached at dwayne.fatherree@daily-iberian.com.

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