PORT FOURCHON, La. (KLFY) — The attorney of Dwayne Lewis, a survivor of the Seacor Power from Erath, has given new details in a lawsuit against the boat maker, owner, and charter company.
Attorney, Frank Lamothe said it took a couple of hours to hear the full story from boarding the Seacor Power to the eventual rescue. He told News 10, “It’s a powerful thing to commit to paper, but we wanted to tell his story.”
Dwayne Lewis’ account of surviving the Seacor Power revealed exactly what was happening inside and outside the liftboat when it’s capsized. The Erath man was napping in his room when the boat departed at 12:30 but roused awake three hours later.
“You wake up and the floor is not the floor anymore, and the walls are not the walls anymore, but thankfully the window was above the water level,” Lamothe said. “That was the good part, and thankfully it did provide an avenue of escape.”
A crewmate on the same deck and Lewis shattered the window with a fire extinguisher. According to Attorney Frank Lamothe, Lewis didn’t immediately follow his companion because Lewis couldn’t swim. Lewis was kept from deep water since childhood after his brother drowned.
Lamothe revealed the life jacket Lewis donned was not part of the ship’s supply.
Actually, it was his own life jacket, and he brought it with him,” Lamothe clarified. “He was just one of the lucky ones.”
After being sucked out his window by waves and losing grip of a rope, Lewis drifted from the hollering of four or five men he couldn’t identify through the turbulent weather. 10-12 foot waves crashed down on him.
“Even though he had a life preserver on, he kept going under. and every time he went under, he thought he would never come up again that he was going to die,” Lamothe stated.
Almost four hours passed before a boat found and rescued Lewis. After multiple near-death experiences, he fears he won’t ever work on a boat again.
“When you have an experience like this you don’t want to put yourself in a position to have another experience like this,” Lamothe explained. “It’s an everyday thing that he’s going to be reliving.”
Lewis’ lawsuit concludes with him praying for answers and asking for damages. Lamothe added Lewis sends his sympathy to the other families who are without their loved ones.
Read Dwayne Lewis’ full lawsuit here: