Bollinger Shipyard Captain testifies at Seacor Power Hearing

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HOUMA, La. (WGNO) — On April 13, Bollinger Shipyard Captain Leonard Guidry and his crew were out at sea at the same time as the Seacor lift boat when the weather quickly became dangerous.

“We discussed how these boats are dangerous in heavy weather conditions and how you’re not supposed to run them in over five-foot seas,” said Capt. Guidry.

That’s when the stress calls came in, and Guidry found out the Seacor Power ship capsized. Guidry and his crew went out to help, using an infra-red camera to search for survivors.

“He immediately spotted persons on the Seacor Power still. There were five persons holding onto a piece of cabin that was sticking up out of the water,” said Capt. Guidry.

Guidry says as his crew tried to make contact with men on the cabin, a Seacor crew member slipped off and fell into the water.

“I was kind of surprised how quickly he was drifting away as he got in the water in that heavy wind condition,” said Capt. Guidry.

Using a floatation device, Guidry’s crew was able to pull the man out of the water. Guidry’s recollection of the storm, an eye-opening testimony.

“What surprised me was how quickly he said the winds jumped from 10 to 15 knots, all the way up to 80 knots. He said it happened in just a matter of one to two minutes,” said Captain Tracy Phillips with the United States Coast Guard.

Despite the wicked weather conditions, Guidry and other surrounding ships turned around to help.

“What stood out to me was the response from absolutely every mariner out there and the other offshore vessels that were there that responded as soon as they could to help Seacor power,” said Andrew Ehlers, an NTSB investigator:

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