PORT FOURCHON, La. (KLFY) — A year has passed since the Seacor Power capsized off the coast of Port Fourchon. Wednesday, some families returned to the last place their loved one was seen. Others visited it for the first time.
It was a very somber ceremony but also a celebration of life for the 13 men who lost their lives aboard the capsized Seacor Power. Six were confirmed dead. Seven were never found. Each one now has a permanent place on the Lady of the Gulf Shrine.
The Seacor Power had a diverse crew. The oldest lost was 69, and the youngest was 26. Their loved felt a missing presence Wednesday.
“We all cried together. We shared together,” said Trenita Jasmine, stepdaughter of Ernest Williams Jr. of Arnaudville. “We shared together about this tragedy and about how we miss those that’s gone, so it gave a lot of courage to go on.”
Williams Jr. was 69 and a cook aboard the Seacor Power. Like five others, his body was recovered within days of the ship going down. Beside their names are seven men who never were found.
“It’s the best thing I could do for my son because we haven’t had a funeral or anything up in Dallas. So this is kind of like closure,” explained Jerry Krell.
Jerry is the father of Jason Krell, one of those lost at sea. His son was a geophysicist and the youngest life lost. Jerry feels the boat should have never left port with the forecast it faced. He also wishes the crew’s story would spread beyond Louisiana.
“When I came down to clean out his apartment, everybody knew about the accident. When I went down to Lafayette, even everybody knew about it, but in Texas, no one really knows really what happened,” Jerry lamented.
It’s that frustration and lack of answers one year later that has other families like Gregory Walcott’s in Abbeville upset beyond prayer, music, and a plaque paid for by the company they deem responsible.
Dawn Saddler, sister of Walcott said, “There’s just no closure for me you know. The living quarters are still buried under the water, and I think that’s where they are. We have no remains, so I wonder if it will ever be closed for me.”
Each family also received a portrait of the Lady of the Gulf Shrine and one of thirteen flags flown above the U.S. capital when the lift boat capsized. Congressman Clay Higgins handed them out with a promise to do all in his power to reform laws that can prevent another tragedy such as this from occurring.
The pause for recollection will not last long. Several lawsuits involving the families and the Seacor company which sponsored this memorial plaque are still in the information-gathering phase and awaiting their first hearings before a judge.