The U.S. Coast Guard says it will end its search at sundown Monday for the remaining crew members of a commercial lift boat that capsized last week near Port Fourchon, Louisiana.
Eight people remained missing as of Monday, the agency said in a news release.
Officials said 19 people were aboard the Seacor Power on April 13 when the boat began taking on water. Crews rescued six people and at least five bodies have been recovered since the search began, including that of captain David Ledet.
“Suspending a search is one of the toughest decisions the Coast Guard has to make,” Capt. Will Watson, commander of Coast Guard Sector New Orleans, said in a statement. “Our crews searched continuously over the past six days with the hope of bringing the missing crewmembers home to their loved ones. I would like to extend my deepest and most sincere condolences to the families, friends and loved ones — all those impacted by this terrible tragedy.”
Seacor Power, which owns the boat, will continue dive and response efforts.
At a news conference Monday, the National Transportation Safety Board said it will lead the investigation into what caused the 129-foot commercial lift boat to go down. Andrew Ehlers, a marine accident investigator with the agency, said they will review several factors including the condition of the boat and weather conditions at the time.
The investigation could take up to 24 months, he said .
John Gellert, the president of Seacor Marine, also spoke and said there are 17 divers at the site of the sunken boat.
Five crew members are confirmed dead, and the Lafourche Parish Coroner confirmed the identity of a fifth man pulled from the boat on Monday, WVUE reported. The man was identified as Lawrence Warren, 36, of Terrytown, Louisiana. )
This is a developing story and will be updated.