Photo: Salvage crews removing fuel from the Seacor Power liftboat; U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Brendan Freeman

Bow section of sunken Seacor liftboat taken to M.A.R.S.

The bow section of the sunken Seacor Power liftboat was raised to the surface of the water and transported by a barge on Saturday 10 July to the Modern American Recycling Services (M.A.R.S.) facility in Houma, Louisiana.

The bow section lifting operation was done by the Donjon-SMIT salvage team, according to an update shared by the U.S. Coast Guard on Sunday, 11 July.

The Seacor Eagle staged with gear near the Seacor Power
The Seacor Eagle staged with gear near the Seacor Power being used as a stable platform to assist in salvage and pollution response; Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Nicole Groll U.S. Coast Guard District 7

With the bow section of the Seacor Power removed, salvage work continued at the site, where crews conducted more acoustic surveys of the stern and accommodation sections. The updated surveys will be used to complete the rigging configuration to prepare the stern section for removal. Once the stern section is raised, the crews will continue the preparation and removal of the accommodations section.

The Coast Guard safety zone extending one nautical mile around the site and the Federal Aviation Administration temporary flight restriction covering a five nautical mile radius around the wreckage site and 2,000-foot minimum altitude will remain in place until salvage operations are complete.

Additionally, a temporary flight restriction is in place around the M.A.R.S. facility. These restrictions are in place to ensure the safety of salvage crews working at the wreckage site and the M.A.R.S. facility as well as boaters who could place themselves in danger by transiting through an active worksite where debris and other underwater obstructions such as anchor wires, mooring ropes, and navigational buoys may be present.

The Seacor Marine-owned Seacor Power liftboat capsized in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico about three months ago due to severe weather conditions.

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At the time of the incident, the liftboat was carrying a crew of 19 members. Six personnel were rescued by the Coast Guard and Good Samaritan vessels, six bodies were recovered from the water, and seven still remain missing. The search efforts for the missing workers were suspended after seven days.

A preliminary investigation report in May revealed that the lifeboat had capsized while the vessel lowering its legs and turning into the winds.

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According to the National Transportation Safety Board’s report, when the legs began to descend, the crewmember at the helm attempted to turn the vessel into the winds. Before the turn was completed, the Seacor Power heeled to starboard and capsized.

The NTSB intend to return to the scene when the Seacor Power is salvaged to inspect the vessel and collect further evidence.

In an update in June, the Coast Guard said that salvors had reported cracking and separation of the hull from the superstructure. The separation indicated that the structural integrity of the vessel was compromised. This is the reason why the vessel needs to be brought to shore in separate sections.