Thinking of the Seacor Power Tragedy


For us seafarers, the recent loss of the Secor Power and its crew is just another reminder of the dangers we face going to sea.  It is tough to think that men could simply head to sea and within a few hours find themselves in mortal danger. 

Only time and a proper investigation will yield information as to what exactly happened to cause the loss of the vessel and it’s most likely that we will find out certain circumstances and actions were done (or not done), onboard the vessel which contributed to the casualty.  What little I know about the event was based on one statement that the vessel radioed they were taking on water.

Almost always we can find a certain set of circumstances which led to cause a certain set of events. I cannot imagine that these special vessels were inherently designed to be unseaworthy, for example effected by wind load on its exposed structure. If this was the case, there would have been a history of similar vessels having causalities long before 2021. Whatever the investigators eventually find, in my opinion, there will be high odds that of a chain of events which wrap together both the “act of God (the actual weather) and a series of other human factors which caused the loss of the vessel. It is most likely those other factors which came together to cause the capsize. I could image many possibilities such as open manholes exposed to the sea filling a compartment, watertight hatches and doorways not properly secured, bilge and ballast systems incapable of pumping out these compartments or perhaps a failure related to the legs of the rig or equipment on deck which subsequently damaged the vessel and limited the crews abilities to bring the vessel to heave to in the severe weather.

Collectively, I am sure many of us have had a few close calls which brought us close to severe injury or even death.  Hell, even now I can still get the “heebie-jeebies” thinking about some of things that have happened to me. I was lucky.

This is our life, and this is our risk.  Each of us can do our jobs the best we can. Not only do we need to remember to look out for ourselves and the other crew members but the ship as well.  If there ever comes a point where you know something is not right onboard, where there is a potential for a casualty, that is the moment you need to speak out. If your smart enough to know there is a risk to the vessel or crew, you will obviously be smart enough to deal with the ramifications of your actions. Just rest assure  knowing you did the right thing.

Finally, to those we leave behind when we go to sea, we need to always tell them, we love them,  as only God knows if, and when we will  safely return.

PS For those interested in why many accidents do happen, I suggest you research "swiss cheese safety modelling". This theory will be utilized by the accident investigators to determine what indeed happened to contribute to the tragedy.

#seacorpower #unitedcajunnavy

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  • Capt. C. Dennis McKelroy on

    A tragedy such as this reminds us all of how vulnerable we are to the elements no matter how much we trust the vessel under us. Having sailed many different vessel types during my 30+ year career, numerous times quick thinking and level headed decisions by well trained, experienced personnel saved the vessel and crew from peril. That is why our continuous training and drills are so important. We much be able to react with a second nature response to any situation since in many cases we may have only have minutes to react.
    As stated here, it is not yet known the circumstances, and speculation is usually incorrect.
    Here is the latest article I could find on the Secor Power.
    Bless on the families of those whose lives were lost in this tragedy.

  • Oliver Prince on

    I’ve been a vessel master since the age of 22 I am now 29 and I’m here to tell you the sea is a very humbling place there is no room for arrogance or know it all’s . The crew comes together collectively to run the vessel as a team. And I can’t even tell you how pushy some of those docks can be in that areas when it comes to making safety calls on weather they will literally threaten your job and the manner in which you support your family and your company will say they have your back… contrary to popular belief that’s all talk because at the end of the day we as masters are held responsible and the truth is they’ll be the first to jump in the bus and start it up. I hear a lot of people asking questions and putting in 2 cents and they have no clue the first thing they are talking about from shaming divers to vessel masters. You shouldn’t speak if you’ve never done the job. You have not earned that right. Nor us seafarers respect to have a seat at the table so kindly please sit down and let the professionals take care of it. The ocean can change in seconds you have to make planes and calculate risk in advance. I’ve been at sea for 10 years and I still learn something new every day. The sea is not a tame place and we are all at the mercy of her! we know our jobs and our places.

  • Randall Cole on

    I have read conflicting information related to the marine forecast prior to sailing. Some eyewitness accounts from mariners in the vicinity indicate numerous waterspouts as well as a microburst which can turn manageable weather catastophic in short order. All will be determined eventually 😣

  • Jessica Hewitt on

    It isn’t just men that go to sea and risk their lives.

    It’s also extremely tough to criticize as some missing as yet to be deemed deceased.

    I was onboard the HMS Bounty when she sank in 2012 in hurricane Sandy, killing my friend and the Master.

    It hurt to see articles shaming and judging before the Master was even deemed deceased.

    That being said, no matter how much experience, training, or condition of the ship, the sea doesn’t give a f*ck about you.

    It will find any chink in the armor and humble you.

    It is all so easy to sit back and judge. The best we can do it not become complacent and keep the standards high.

  • Dave L on

    These specialty vessels have strict limits for sea state and wind speed for being afloat and underway. The reported conditions were well above those limits.

    The master was well experienced, and should have known all of the dangers and limits.

    That vessel should have been jacked up out of the water, where it would have easily survived the weather event. If you look in the background on many photos, there is a similar vessel jacked up and working fine.

    As the author states, there must have been a chain of events or conditions that caused the loss. We may never know (or be told) the truth.

    At this point we need to send thoughts and prayers and support to the surviving crew and family members who will need to get through this event.

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