Louisiana ship capsize: Search for survivors from ‘lift’ vessel

Rescuers are searching for missing crew members of a large commercial vessel after it capsized off the US state of Louisiana.

There were reportedly 18 people on board, and on Wednesday the US Coast Guard said it had so far rescued six.

The 129ft (39m) lift boat capsized about eight miles (12km) from Port Fourchon on Tuesday afternoon.

A spokesman for marine transportation company Seacor Marine later identified the vessel as belonging to them.

A lift boat is a self-propelled vessel with an open deck, often using legs and jacks, and is deployed to support drilling or exploration.

Seacor spokesman Armond Batiste told the New York Times that the ship was the Seacor Power.

In a statement, the US Coast Guard said it had received an emergency radio notification at 16:30 (21:30 GMT) that there was a distressed commercial vessel about eight miles from the coast.

It said an “urgent marine information broadcast” had been issued which “multiple good Samaritan boat crews responded to”.

Two Coast Guard ships rescued one person each, while civilian boat crews pulled another four people out of the water.

There are now four Coast Guard vessels, four civilian “good Samaritan” boats, and an Ocean Sentry sea aeroplane searching the water for the rest of the crew.

The National Weather Service’s New Orleans area head, Benjamin Schott, told NBC News that a “wake low” weather phenomenon on Tuesday afternoon caused winds of 70-80mph, which would have made the seas very rough.

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