A year after the capsize of a lift boat in the Gulf of Mexico, families have yet to get answers about their loved ones, reform is buried under sediments and the possibility of closure remains elusive. Six crew members were killed and seven remain missing when the Seacor Power lift boat capsized April 13 near Port Fourchon. The National Transportation Safety Board is the lead federal agency for the investigation. Vessel owner Seacor Marine, its captain and the Coast Guard have also been named parties to the case.
The NTSB released a preliminary report Tuesday about what happened on the vessel. It said the captain of the lift boat made a "responsible and prudent" decision to get underway that day based on the weather information available at the time. But the company failed to notify its crew of a special marine warning that was issued, and it did not jack up the Rockfish enough to withstand heavy winds and 3-foot seas.
A survivor of the capsizing gave testimony Monday at a hearing in which he described his harrowing escape from the capsized vessel. Dwayne Lewis, one of six survivors, testified he had to break a window with a fire extinguisher to escape and drifted in storm-driven seas for hours before being rescued. He also described the horror of watching his colleagues lose their lives. NTSB Commissioner Mark Rosekind said the investigation into the accident will take time to complete, but the agency will provide a final report with recommendations for what went wrong.