State Watch

6 people rescued from capsized ship off Louisiana, more missing

Authorities are scrambling to rescue nearly a dozen people who remain missing off the coast of Louisiana after a commercial platform ship capsized in the Gulf of Mexico after a storm.

The U.S. Coast Guard Heartland division, headquartered in New Orleans, tweeted late Tuesday evening that the Guard and “multiple #goodSamaritan vessels” were responding to a “capsized commercial lift boat south of Grand Isle.”

In a news release, the Coast Guard corrected the vessel’s length from 265 feet to 129 feet and indicated that three Coast Guard vessels and two aircraft, along with four bystander vessels, were involved in the search for the missing persons. Six have been found so far, according to the news release.

A reporter for local news affiliate WWLTV, who posted pictures from the scene that showed the capsized vessel, said that 18 people were thought to have been on the boat in total.

That number was confirmed by officials at a news conference Wednesay, who said they were hopeful about finding the 12 remaining crew members.

The cause of the accident was still under investigation as of Wednesday, but authorities noted that the boat’s sinking came amid heavy storms in the Gulf of Mexico.

“That’s challenging under any circumstance,” said Coast Guard Capt. Will Watson, who added that wind speeds were recorded 80-90 mph in the area at the time of the accident. “We don’t know the degree to which that contributed to what happened, but we do know those are challenging conditions to be out in the maritime environment.”

Updated at 6:12 p.m.

Tags capsizing Coast Guard Gulf of Mexico Louisiana New Orleans

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