A lift boat operated by Seacor Marine is listing in the Gulf of Mexico off of the Louisiana coast after having been evacuated by the company, a U.S. Coast Guard official said Monday.
The vessel, the Seacor Robert, is about 65 miles south of Lake Charles, according to Coast Guard Petty Officer Gabriel Wisdom. No injuries have been reported.
The Robert was evacuated Friday ahead of forecasted severe weather, according to a prepared statement from Seacor Marine. The company said that a flyover on Sunday indicated that the boat was “off position to one side but otherwise but otherwise with power and without any major visual damage.”
“We have mobilized resources to level the vessel and assess any associated damage,” the company said.
[Related: What is a lift boat? Here’s how they work.]
Wisdom said the Coast Guard was notified Sunday that the lift boat was listing, or tilting to one side, and that the crew had been evacuated. The Coast Guard was not involved in the evacuation, he said, adding that officials are investigating the incident and plan to release more information later Monday.
In April 2021, another Seacor lift boat, the Seacor Power, capsized in the Gulf during a severe storm off Louisiana’s coast about eight miles south of Port Fourchon.
Thirteen of the 16 crewmembers died.
What is a lift boat?
The Seacor Robert is a commercial vessel that’s designed to become a standing platform by dropping three towering legs down to the sea floor. They are also called jackup barges.
Lift boats are used in the offshore energy industry to ferry equipment to and from big drilling platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.
The lift boat was a makeshift design that originated in the Louisiana bayous during the early years of offshore drilling for relatively small barges that could pull alongside fixed near-shore platforms to offload equipment.
They used retractable legs to stabilize themselves on the sea floor while they did their work. They have evolved with the offshore industry and now operate in all the major oil drilling and wind farm areas in the world, with the largest able to work at a sea depth of 400 feet.
Staff writer Anthony McAuley contributed to this report.
Carlie Kollath Wells is a breaking news reporter at NOLA.com and The Times-Picayune.
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