The search for survivors from a capsized lift boat in the Gulf of Mexico has closed and attention now turns to comforting the loved ones of the five known dead and eight missing, a grim hunt for bodies and a painstaking investigation that could take up to two years. Seven days after the Seacor Power capsized in rough waters on April 12 while it was traveling about eight miles off the Louisiana coast, the Coast Guard on Monday night suspended the search and rescue operation for the eight people still missing from the vessel, the AP reports. All told, the search had covered 9,000 square miles of waters off Louisiana. Nineteen people were on board the vessel. Six were rescued on the first day. Five bodies have been pulled from the sea or from the ship by divers.
For the families, it has been a brutal wait to find out what happened. Many of them gathered twice daily for updates from officials. The president of Seacor Marine, which owned the boat, vowed Monday that they would do everything in their power to find the remaining people. It could be as long as two years before the National Transportation and Safety Board comes up with a final determination of what happened to the Seacor Power and why. But during a news conference Monday, Seacor's president gave some information about what the company knows so far. A key question has been the weather. John Gellert said while there were warnings of bad weather, what the boat actually encountered when it was offshore was significantly worse than expected. Gellert said the decision on whether to go was entirely up to the captain, but he emphasized that the captain had the company’s full support. The captain, David Ledet, 63, was among the dead.
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