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1 dead, 12 missing after ship capsizes off Louisiana coast

The U.S. Coast Guard said it was notified of a capsized lift vessel off the coast of Louisiana at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard
The U.S. Coast Guard said it was notified of a capsized lift vessel off the coast of Louisiana at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard

April 14 (UPI) -- The U.S. Coast Guard said Wednesday it's searching for 12 missing people off the Louisiana coast after a commercial vessel capsized due to severe weather.

In a news conference updating the status of the search, Coast Guard Capt. Will Watson said searchers recovered the body of one crew member. He said weather conditions were expected to worsen later Wednesday, but the search was continuing.

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"We are giving it everything we have," he said.

In a statement released Tuesday, the Coast Guard said six people had been rescued with the assistance of "multiple good Samaritan vessels" about 8 miles south of Port Fourchon.

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Coast Guard watchstanders received an emergency position of a distressed 129-foot commercial lift vessel at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and sent out an urgent marine information broadcast that was responded to by several private boat crews.

Four people of the capsized ship were rescued by the private boatcrews with two Coast Guard vessels rescuing two others.

Several Coast Guard ships, helicopters and a sentry airplane were dispatched in the search along with four private vessels.

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The capsized lift boat has been identified as the Seacor Power with 18 people on board.

The ship sank as a storm system lashed the region with U.S. Coast Guard Station Grand Isle posting pictures earlier Tuesday of damage to its Facebook page and warning "[t]here is still significant hazards to life and property with the flooding and lighting on the island; mariners are reminded to contact the Coast Guard on VHF-16 if they are in distress."

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