One of six survivors of the capsized Seacor Power lift boat recounted the April 13 capsizing in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court, records show.
In the lawsuit he filed against Seacor Marine, Seacor Liftboats and Semco, Dwayne Lewis' lawyer tells the story of smashing a window to get out of a capsized liftboat and into the Gulf - even though he didn't know how to swim - and then floating for hours before he was rescued.
According to the suit, Lewis was asleep when he felt the boat capsize. He and a crew mate used a fire extinguisher to smash a window so they could get out of the lift boat. He put on his life jacket, but stayed in the room, the suit states.
"The last thing Plaintiff wanted to do was jump into the water. When he was a child his brother had drowned and his parents had thereafter never let him near water. Consequently, Plaintiff could not swim. So, he stayed in his stateroom as long as he could, getting tossed around the room, and getting bruised and battered," the suit states.
When the water was finally too high for him to stay, he started to leave - and a huge wave pushed him back in, the sucked him through the window and into the water. For a while he was able to hold onto a rope, and he heard men yelling at him. But eventually he couldn't hold on any longer, and then he drifted in the gulf for three to four hours before he saw a boat. He waved frantically, but the boat stopped to rescue another man and left without seeing him.
The suit states he was finally rescued by the crew of the MR. LLOYD, who pulled him to safety.
"Plaintiff endured a harrowing near death experience and now suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome," the suit alleges. "He fears he will never be able to work offshore again."
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