“Time is ticking”; Family of missing crewman reacts narrowed rescue efforts


PORT FOURCHON, La. (KLFY) — Families of the still missing Seacor Power crew members remain hopeful their loved ones will be found alive six days after the vessel capsized.

Abbeville native, Gregory Walcott (62), has not been found in the search. His niece, Crystal Randle, believes he is in an area of the lift boat so far left untouched by divers surviving off a pocket of air.

“Time is passing by. I can’t imagine what they are going through being stuck in that water, being stuck with their head in one spot,” Randle imagined. It’s the best each of the families can hope for with searches outside the vessel called off.

“It’s hard to stay focused and positive, you know, hoping that he could be returned to us alive,” Randle expressed.

Hearing the Coast Guard is suspending surface and air rescues is making Crytal Randle hopeful more diving attempts will be made. Her uncle, Gregory Walcott, is a galley-hand aboard the Seacor Power. He assisted cook Anthony Hartford, 53, of New Orleans.

Harford’s body was recovered Friday from inside the capsized boat, but Randle said the galley, as of Monday, is a floor still left unsearched by dive crews.

“Hopefully, they can get to that base floor, base level, before today because time is ticking,” Randle said.

She is aware so much time in the search has already been lost due to dangerous weather or currents below the surface, noting offers have been made by others who want to help and search the boat regardless of the potential danger; however, the company in charge is holding them back.

“Emotions are everywhere. Families are just distraught. I mean it’s terrible. This is such a tragedy,” Randle recalled of their daily meetings with officials.

Randle, herself a pastor, is holding onto her faith to strengthen each family around her.

“I tell everybody it is said that you’ve got to hope for the best and expect the worst, but I’m just going to continue to hope for the best until I have to embrace the worst. So I decided no matter what the outcome is, God is still God. God is still faithful, and no matter what, that’s not going to waiver my faith in the Lord,” Randle concluded.

Walcott has no children of his own, but that’s not the case of many of the men still missing. Randle says Walcott is a father figure who was always there for her, and she is going to continue to be there for him now.

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