Six people were rescued and more are missing after a boat capsized off the Louisiana coast amid severe weather alerts.
The U.S. Coast Guard said it received an emergency signal at around 4:30 p.m. local time on Tuesday from a 129-foot commercial vessel eight miles south of Port Fourchon in the Gulf of Mexico.
A widespread call for help was issued to nearby civilian boats and a Coast Guard vessel arrived at the scene within 30 minutes.
A 154-foot Coast Guard cutting boat rescued one person from the capsized boat, while a crew from the Grand Isle Coast Guard station – 20 miles west of Port Fourchon – rescued another person .
Civilian boats that joined the search efforts saved four more people from the water, the coast guard said.
A full-scale rescue effort continued into the night, rescuers added, with two cutters, two smaller ships, a helicopter and a plane deployed as part of the effort.
It is not known how many more people could be missing.
“We’re always looking for more people,” Petty Officer Jonathan Lally, a spokesperson for the 8th District of the Coast Guard, told The New York Times.
The Times-Picayune reported the ship was being used for oil and gas exploration, and Lafourche Parish President Archie Chaisson III confirmed at the point of sale that 18 people were on board before it capsized .
Severe storms hit Louisiana on Tuesday, with a flash flood warning in place for the southeastern state and the National Weather Service forecasting up to five inches of rain and winds of up to 50 mph.