Commercial boat capsized amid severe weather off Louisiana coast; 6 people rescued, more missing

Joel Shannon
·2 min read

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued six people from a 129-foot capsized commercial lift boat in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday amid severe weather warnings.

The Coast Guard says the incident occurred south of Grand Isle, Louisiana, and other good Samaritan vessels also helped the rescue. 

"The crew of the pre-commissioned Coast Guard Cutter Glenn Harris, a 154-foot Fast Response Cutter, arrived on scene within 30 minutes and rescued one person from the capsized vessel," they said in a statement. "A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Grand Isle rescued another person and good Samaritan vessels on scene rescued four other people from the water."

Officials did not know how many people were aboard the vessel, reported the New York Times.

“We’re still searching for more people,” Petty Officer Jonathan Lally, a spokesman for the Coast Guard 8th District, said in an interview with the paper Tuesday night.

The Times-Picayune reported that the vessel is used for oil and gas exploration, and Lafourche Parish President Archie Chaisson III confirmed to the outlet 18 people were on board before it was capsized.

The National Weather Service's New Orleans office on Tuesday issued Special Marine Warnings in the region. The Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services reports wind gusts as high as 75 mph occurred there Tuesday afternoon.

The Coast Guard received reports of multiple vessels being impacted by the weather, WAFB 9News reports, citing spokesman Petty Officer Jonathan Lally.

Videos from the area show drenching rains and strong winds. Local lawmaker Scott Walker posted photos showing uprooted trees and damaged buildings.

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"Praying for everyone around Grand Isle and all the communities in South Louisiana ... Please stay safe in the storm," tweeted U.S. Senator John Kennedy.

Jefferson Parish councilman Ricky Templet, whose district includes Grand Isle, told The Times-Picayune that multiple vessels were overturned or ruined on the island.

"We expected some winds and possible rains, but nothing as extensive as what took place on the coastal areas of Jefferson Parish," said Templet, according to the newspaper.

Contributing: Charles Ventura, Elinor Aspegren

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coast Guard says commercial boat capsized off Louisiana coast