Texas oil firm that commissioned Seacor Power liftboat to work on its rig DENIES it ordered crew of 19 to set sail in 90mph winds as hopes for missing nine crew fade

 The oil firm that commissioned the Seacor Power liftboat to work on its rigs distanced itself from the boat's decision to set sail in 90mph winds after it sank, as hopes to find the nine missing sailors aboard fade.

Just six of the 19 onboard the Seacor Power, which capsized in heavy seas and powerful winds on Tuesday, have been rescued. Four have been found dead, and nine are still missing.  

Houston-based Talos Energy, which describes itself as 'one of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico's largest public independent producers,' said in a statement on Sunday that they were not involved in the Seacor Power's decision to set sail. 

A liftboat looks like a barge, with three or four legs, and is self-propelled. It combines the design of a jack-up oil rig with an offshore supply boat. 

The capsized Seacor Power is pictured on Sunday, with one of its three legs visible

The capsized Seacor Power is pictured on Sunday, with one of its three legs visible

The capsized vessel and rescue boats are seen bottom left, eight miles of the Louisiana shore

The capsized vessel and rescue boats are seen bottom left, eight miles of the Louisiana shore

The Seacor Power was on its way to work at a Talos Energy oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico

The Seacor Power was on its way to work at a Talos Energy oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico

The Secor Power (left) is a mobile platform that can work in up to 195 feet of water with three extendible legs. The large housing structure above the deck of the lift boat will likely pose significant challenges for divers

The Secor Power (left) is a mobile platform that can work in up to 195 feet of water with three extendible legs. The large housing structure above the deck of the lift boat will likely pose significant challenges for divers

Terrifying moment vessel carrying 19 people capsizes off Louisiana
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'The Seacor Power was in port for service and inspections for several days prior to its departure,' they said in a statement. 

'The vessel was not at a Talos facility and was fully under the command of its captain and Seacor Marine, including when to depart the port.'


They said that Talos was assisting Seacor and the U.S. Coast Guard Unified Command with the ongoing response effort. 

'Like everyone in the offshore community we are heartbroken and praying for everyone affected by this tragedy,' they said. 

The vessel was making a transit during a tropical storm-force wind warning from the National Weather Service, which had predicted 'suddenly higher waves' in the typically-calm region. 

At the time of the incident, winds were blowing up to 90 mph and waves were up to nine feet high, according to the Coast Guard.

David Bourg, a naval architect, told WDSU that liftboats in the class of the Seacor Power can withstand winds of 80mph when afloat, and 115 mph when 'safe-quartered' in shallower water where their legs can be sunk deeper for more stability. 

The four deceased crewmen, recovered earlier in the week, have been named as Captain David Ledet, 63, of Thibodaux; 53-year-old Anthony Hartford of New Orleans; 55-year-old James Wallingsford of Gilbert; and 69-year-old Ernest Williams of Arnaudville. 

Hartford, a cook, was found on Friday. 

'It's no feeling right now,' Anthony's Hartford's widow Janet Hartford said.

Janet said the last time she saw her husband of 24 years and the father of their four children was on March 30 when he brought her roses and cake for her birthday. 

Captain David Ledet, 63, was confirmed dead in the boat disaster
Gregory Walcott, 62, was still missing on Friday

Captain David Ledet, 63, (left) was confirmed dead in the Seacor Power boat disaster and Gregory Walcott, 62, (right) remained among the missing on Saturday as the Coast Guard continued search efforts

James Wallingsford, 55, of Gilbert is among those confirmed to have died. He is pictured with his wife Sheila Wallingsford and their daughter Dakota Nielsen

James Wallingsford, 55, of Gilbert is among those confirmed to have died. He is pictured with his wife Sheila Wallingsford and their daughter Dakota Nielsen

Janet Hartford holds a photo of her husband Anthony, 53, who died on the Seacor Power. She is pictured with her daughter, Antranae, 24, right; her son, Thelonious Dukes, 38, far left; and daughter-in-law, Chantrice, at their home in New Orleans on Saturday

Janet Hartford holds a photo of her husband Anthony, 53, who died on the Seacor Power. She is pictured with her daughter, Antranae, 24, right; her son, Thelonious Dukes, 38, far left; and daughter-in-law, Chantrice, at their home in New Orleans on Saturday

The families and friends of the missing men are seen waiting for any news as crews search the Seacor Power

The families and friends of the missing men are seen waiting for any news as crews search the Seacor Power

Marion Cuyler, fiancée of missing crew member Chaz Morales, at a fire station where family members of the missing crew members have gathered

Marion Cuyler, fiancée of missing crew member Chaz Morales, at a fire station where family members of the missing crew members have gathered

Chaz Morales, one of the missing crew members, is seen left with his three children
Chaz Morales (right)

Chaz Morales, one of the missing crew members, is seen left with his three children and right with a friend

Marion Cuyler, whose fiancée Chaz Morales is among the nine men missing, said U.S. Navy Seal dive teams were continuing the search on Sunday.

'They couldn't dive last night, seas were not favorable,' Cuyler told WGNO

'They were on the dive boat at 9:50 this morning headed to the vessel. Going to continue on level three.'

Cuyler texted her fiancée, a crane operator, that the weather appeared too bad to head out Tuesday. 

She said Morales texted her back that he wished he could stay ashore. 

Officials have released little information about their continuous search in the murky seas surrounding the capsized Seacor Power liftboat, some eight miles off the coast, since announcing divers found two bodies inside the ship on Friday night. 

Divers are trying to get inside the boat, capsized where the sea is 50 to 55 feet deep. 

Rescuers in the air and the water have been searching an area the size of Rhode Island for the remaining nine missing crew members.

'We are continuing to search,' Coast Guard Petty Officer John Michelli said Sunday morning. 

'We've basically been 24-7 since the beginning.' 

Terry Crownover, director of the Marine Survival Training Center, an offshoot of the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, told WDSU that he noted one of the survivors was pulled from the water not wearing a life jacket, suggesting the capsize happened very quickly.

He said that in 50 degree water, a person has 10 minutes to rescue themselves. If they stay in water at that temperature for one hour, they risk suffering hypothermia.

WDSU chief meteorologist Margaret Orr said the water temperature in the Gulf at the search site was 76 degrees on Friday afternoon - meaning the conditions were survivable, but odds worsen over time.

Crew members of the Coast Guard Cutter Glenn Harris search for survivors Tuesday after a 175-foot commercial lift boat capsized
Six men were pulled alive from the water many remain missing

Crew members of the Coast Guard Cutter Glenn Harris search for survivors Tuesday after a 175-foot commercial liftboat capsized. Six men were pulled alive from the water but many remain missing

Crew members of the Coast Guard Cutter Glenn Harris pull a person from the water Tuesday after the Seacor Power flipped. The confirmed death toll in the disaster has risen to four, after dive teams recovered two bodies inside the vessel

Crew members of the Coast Guard Cutter Glenn Harris pull a person from the water Tuesday after the Seacor Power flipped. The confirmed death toll in the disaster has risen to four, after dive teams recovered two bodies inside the vessel

Coast Guard members throw a hammer against the hull of the Seacor Power on Thursday as they search for signs of life. No contact has been made with the missing crew since two climbed back inside the capsized vessel on Tuesday

Coast Guard members throw a hammer against the hull of the Seacor Power on Thursday as they search for signs of life. No contact has been made with the missing crew since two climbed back inside the capsized vessel on Tuesday

'It'd be a will to survive. Mentally physically, that's the hard part right there,' Crownover said. 

'It's so easy to give up, and it's so hard to stay a fighter.'

A large housing structure with capacity for 50 crew members sits on the stern of the Seacor Power. 

Marine architect David Bourg told the site the entrances to the structure are airtight, but the components and rooms inside cannot be sealed watertight.

But if there are stranded mariners in air pockets inside, Crownover said there is a possibility divers can reach them. 

Weather conditions have hampered diver access to the lift boat, however. 

Texas oil firm that commissioned Seacor Power liftboat to work on its rig DENIES it ordered crew of 19 to set sail in 90mph winds as hopes for missing nine crew fade Texas oil firm that commissioned Seacor Power liftboat to work on its rig DENIES it ordered crew of 19 to set sail in 90mph winds as hopes for missing nine crew fade Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 07:58 Rating: 5

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