Searching for survivors after boat capsized

AccuWeather's Bill Wadell was in Louisiana, on April 14, where the Coast Guard is searching 12 remaining crew members missing after a boat capsized off the coast of Port Fourchon.

Video Transcript

GEOFF CORNISH: I'm Geoff Cornish. The US Coast Guard is searching for 12 crew members who are still missing 24 hours after a commercial vessel capsized yesterday afternoon in the middle of a dangerous thunderstorm. AccuWeather's Bill Wadell is live in Grand Isle, Louisiana. Bill, those rescue crews are getting a bit of a break right now after a nasty storm rolled through that area just a few hours ago.

BILL WADELL: That's right, Jeff. Yeah, they have been dealing with rain and storms throughout the day. Thankfully, at this moment right now, no storms. We're actually seeing some sunshine trying to break through the clouds. But those crews still dealing with a lot of wind out here on the water.

And we just got an update from the US Coast Guard a few minutes ago. They're telling us that their crews are still out on the water searching, and they have been over a 1,400 square mile area looking for survivors over the past 24 hours. That area is larger than the state of Rhode Island when you add up all that land. Now again, 1,400 square miles is what they've searched. And so far they have not found any additional survivors. Those Coast Guard vessels have been out on the water and there are five or six aircraft nearby.

It was a 129-foot commercial vessel that capsized around 4:30 yesterday afternoon when that nasty round of storms moved through roughly eight miles off the coast of Port Fourchon. Now Coast Guard officials say six crew members have been rescued. One of those was unresponsive. Twelve crew members are still missing right now.

Video from another vessel nearby shows just how bad conditions were yesterday afternoon. This was a dangerous thunderstorm complex known as a wake low or a gravity wave. Officials say they're still investigating where the crew of the Seacor Power was headed on that lift boat. Conditions have improved this afternoon but it's still rough out on the open water and that's still impacting the search operation.

WILL WATSON: Current on scene whether conditions are about 8 to 10 foot seas, 4 nautical miles of visibility, and about 20 to 30 mile per hour winds. There's a small craft advisory through the evening. And we anticipate thunderstorms this afternoon. The vessel itself remains overturned on the starboard side, partially submerged and grounded in approximately 55 feet of water.

GEOFF CORNISH: We've been speaking with one woman on social media. She's been telling us she is a family member of one of the crew members still reported missing. She and other families are desperately waiting for answers right now about their loved ones as they just anxiously wait for the Coast Guard update to see if they have found any more survivors in the past few hours.

BILL WADELL: Geoff, the sun goes down here in about 2, 2-1/2 hours. So those crews out on the water and up in the air, they are trying to cover as much area as possible looking for any signs of survivors. But again, they're dealing with wind, rough surf, still searching for 12 people missing about eight miles off the coast.

GEOFF CORNISH: A lot of families greatly impacted by this, living a nightmare right now. And we certainly hope for the best there along the Louisiana coast.