- by theguardian
- 20 Mar 2023
The report into the capsizing of the Seacor Power during severe weather in the Gulf of Mexico concluded that hurricane-force winds, rather than any other suspected factor, were the primary reason the vessel overturned.
Rescue efforts were hampered by rough seas, winds and the fact that the boat flipped upside-down, officials said during a National Transportation Safety Board meeting.
Six crew members were discovered dead and seven have never been found. Only six of the crew are known to have survived.
Officials also flagged other factors in the disaster: for instance, investigators confirmed that a technical issue prevented the captain, David Ledet, from receiving warnings about the potent storm into which his crew was sailing.
But the board chair, Jennifer Homendy, said what most haunted her most was that the lack of requirement for those on board to wear personal locator beacons.
As required, the ship was outfitted with a vessel locator, known as an emergency position-indicating radio beacon, or EPIRB. An alert from that device along with distress calls from nearby ships helped clue rescuers into the disaster, which in its human toll was deadlier than the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf that killed 11 people.
The NTSB has pushed to require such devices after a series of other deadly capsizings since 2015, but the US Coast Guard has resisted, saying only that it would soon propose new rules on the topic. Homendy said employers should be more proactive in imposing their own internal requirements.
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