Search and rescue crews are asking the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to temporarily change a rule for boats helping in the search for the missing crew members of the Seacor Power.
The volunteers want permission to tie a net (Turtle Excluder Device) that helps with sea turtle conservation. The NOAA, however, says the devices need to be used properly or removed completely and replaced with other equipment.
Christifer DeRouen, who has been helping in the search, says their crews are racing against the weather, trying to cover as much ground as possible, and to make these changes to boats would be both time consuming and costly.
DeRouen says volunteers have rushed in from across the state, some even driving in from Texas and Mississippi and they're ready to get in the water and trawl, which means dragging a net along the the floor of the gulf, but they are being held up by the restriction. He also believes that by tying the turtle excluder devices, boaters would be able to pull up potential remains.
"We all understand the environmental impact, but this is human lives, this is people's loved ones. They don't deserve to be buried at sea," DeRouen said.
Some, including a family member whose loved one is still missing, have attempted to reach out to NOAA through Facebook and by phone, but DeRouen says their calls are not being answered.
KATC reached out to NOAA to ask about the importance of the rule and if a change would be possible, but we have not heard back.
"I think we're ready," added DeRouen. "We're ready to go get our boys."
MarineVesselTraffic.com displays a real-time look at the fishing vessels currently off the coast of Louisiana near Grand Isle, in the same area where the Seacor Power collapsed. While it's unclear for certain whether the boats answered the call from the United Cajun Navy, the boats are in the same location as the capsized lift boat.
You can find the live vessel tracker here.
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