Contracted salvage crews started removing fuel from SEACOR Power’s fuel tanks Monday, after spending the weekend arriving on the scene and becoming familiar with the equipment.

The commercial lift boat capsized April 13, 8 miles south of Port Fourchon, Louisiana. It was contracted to Tallus Energy to conduct oil well work. Of the 19 passengers and crew on the SEACOR Power, six were rescued,  five were found dead and eight remain missing. About a week after the capsizing, the Coast Guard called off the search for the missing crew members after looking for them for a cumulative 175 hours, covering more than 9,000 square miles.

Related: Coast Guard coordinates cleanup after deadly SEACOR Power capsizing

According to the Coast Guard, salvage crews are using a method called hot tapping to remove the fuel. This allows for drilling into the fuel tanks and making a hose connection without ruining the integrity of the tank or causing potential environmental pollution.

Divers are performing this process above and below the water, connected to an air hose. The Coast Guard said it’s imperative mariners respect the 1-mile safety zone around the work area during these procedures.

Weather is key to the safety of the crews. If winds exceed 15 mph, 4-foot seas arise and the water current is faster than 1.25 mph, the Coast Guard will postpone the work until calmer weather prevails.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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