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Louisiana delegation calls for Congressional hearings on SEACOR Power tragedy

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Posted at 2:38 PM, May 13, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The entire Louisiana delegation has requested congressional hearing concerning the Seacor Power capsizing.

On Thursday Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) wrote a letter Thursday to the Senate Commerce, Science and Technology Committee and Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security to request an oversight hearing on the federal response to the Seacor Power capsizing in the Gulf of Mexico.

U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), John Kennedy (R-LA), and Reps. Steve Scalise (R-LA), Garret Graves (R-LA), Mike Johnson (R-LA), Clay Higgins (R-LA) and Julia Letlow (R-LA) all signed the letter.

“It is imperative that Congress exercise its oversight authority and take steps to review actions taken to ensure policy gaps are fixed and any lessons learned from the tragedy result in more efficient procedures and a higher degree of marine safety in the future,” wrote the delegation members. “We ask respectfully that the committees of jurisdiction conduct necessary oversight hearings on this tragedy and seek opportunities to improve marine safety procedures overall. Congress has an obligation to take a deeper look into emergency response measures to ensure the USCG is in the best possible position to assist or deter such tragedies in the future.”

The full letter is available here.

According to the letter, the U.S. Coast Guard's response and decisions made by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration during search and rescue operations warrant the immediate attention and proper oversight of the U.S. Senate.

"It is clear that communication between the vessel operator and crewmember families was all too infreqent during search and rescue operations and that Congress must close gaps in existing vessel response plan regulations," writes Kennedy. "Details of the immediate response from the USCG and subsequent search and rescue efforts deserve to be heard on the record in a Congressional setting."

Kennedy adds that Seacor Marine, which operates Seacor Power, will help clarify why the lift boat was traveling through the severe weather when it capsized.

A total of 19 crew members were on board the Seacor Power when it capsized eight miles south of Port Fourchon during severe weather on April 13, 2021. Six people were rescued following the incident. Six have been found dead and seven are still missing.

No other crew members have been located as searches continue.

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