Salvage work begins on Seacor Power

Contacted salvage divers transport a hose to one of Seacor Power's fuel tanks to start removing the fuel, May 3, 2021, off Port Fourchon, Louisiana. (Photo: US Coast Guard/Petty Officer 2nd Class Brendan Freeman)

Salvage crews have started removing the fuel from the tanks of the capsized liftboat Seacor Power in the Gulf of Mexico off Port Fourchon, Louisiana, the US Coast Guard said on Wednesday, May 5.

Salvage crews are using a method called hot tapping, which allows for drilling into the fuel tanks and making a hose connection without ruining the integrity of the tank or causing pollution impacts. Divers are performing this process above and below the water, connected to an air hose.

The coast guard said it is imperative that mariners respect the one-mile (1.6-kilometre) safety zone during these evolutions.

The coast guard added that weather is key to a safe evolution, and if weather conditions exceed approximately 15mph (13-knot) winds, four-foot (1.2-metre) seas, and the current is faster than 1.25 mph (one knot), work will cease until there are safer conditions.

Seacor Power capsized in rough seas off Port Fourchon on April 13. Only six of the 19-strong crew were ever rescued.

Six of the vessel’s crew were found dead while another seven are still missing.

On April 19, the coast guard called off the search for the missing crew.

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