HOUMA, La. (KLFY) — The Coast Guard on Monday started public hearings to give answers as to what caused the Seacor Power tragedy.
We heard from the first survivor and the first witness of many. They both testified under oath as to what happened the evening of April 13, when the men were lost at sea.
“I’ve been on the Gulf 44 years. I never got scared, but on this day when this happened, I didn’t know what to think.”
The first witness in the hearing was Ted Duhtu, Captain of the Rockfish, which was a lift boat nearby the Seacor Power when it capsized.
The Rockfish met its destination at about 2:30 before a life-changing storm was fully realized.
Duhtu said he was never warned of waves above five feet which a liftboat can’t travel in.
“If it came through, I never heard it because if I had heard it before I moved, I would have never moved.”
His vessel picked up 112mph wind gusts with sustained wind of 95mph.
Meanwhile, aboard the Seacor Power, Dwayne Lewis was aroused awake.
“I knew this was going to happen.”
He and another crewmate had to use a fire extinguisher to bash a window out and escape for a rescue.
He recommended multiple changes to prevent something like this in the future.
“No matter what equipment or the size of the load, I think it needs to be strapped down. Either welded or chained and bonded.
A window breaking device at every window because let’s face it, they tell you to push the window.”
The Coast Guard said that’s the only new information they received from witnesses but wanted the public to hear everything.
“One of the things that’s important about the public hearing is for the opportunity for the public to hear what we’ve already heard, so this gives everybody the opportunity to know what we know and to really understand what happened that day.”
Tuesday morning, we’ll hear from Bryan Mires, the first mate aboard the Seacor Power.
He is also an Acadiana native.