HOUMA, La (KLFY) — The unified command of the Coast Guard and Seacor updated family members of the crew on the salvage operations of the lift boat that are underway in the Gulf during a meeting today.
Family members were updated on information from Seacor and the contracted Donjon-SMIT slavage team on efforts to remove the vessel, and the possible timeline for that process.
Throughout the last week, contracted salvage crews have been removing obstructions from the seafloor around the partially sunken lift boat. Removal of the debris will make room for the equipment needed to raise sections of the boat to the surface.
The Seacor Power is still in the same location where it sank, but it has rotated. Salvors report cracking and separation of the hull from the superstructure, which indicates that the structural integrity of the vessel is compromised. The vessel will have to be raised and brought to shore in separate sections because of this.
The Donjon-SMIT salvage team is outfitting a barge with a pump system that allows it to be submerged and maneuvered under the larger sections of the vessel.
Once in place, water is pumped out of the barge and it is refloated with the larger sections already on board in conjunction with assistance from a crane barge on the surface. This method preserves the structural integrity of the recovered section.
Safety netting will be placed around the openings of each section as it is raised and transported.
Removal of the largest sections is expected to be complete by the end of June, but the timeline depends on many factors including the safety of salvage crews, the weather, and any new structural changes that may occur.
Seacor assets will remain in the area until the end of July to recover any remaining debris from the sea floor.
The Coast Guard safety zone extending 1 nautical mile around the site and the Federal Aviation Administration temporary flight restriction covering a 5 nautical mile radius around the site and 2,000-foot minimum altitude will remain in place until salvage operations are complete.
These restrictions are in place to ensure the safety of divers and salvage crews working at the site as well as boaters who could place themselves in danger by transiting through an active worksite where debris and other underwater obstructions such as anchor wires, mooring ropes, and navigational buoys may be present.
The Coast Guard continues to monitor for any oil discharges, and SEACOR Marine has an Oil Spill Response Organization standing by to respond to any situation in which there is recoverable oil.
The incident is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Coast Guard. Questions regarding the investigation should be directed to the NTSB at 202-314-6133.
For media inquiries about the Coast Guard’s role in salvage and pollution response efforts, call Coast Guard Public Affairs at 504-671-2020.
For all other media inquiries regarding the SEACOR Power incident, contact SEACOR Marine at Mediainquiries@seacormarine.com.