Coast Guard suspends search for missing tanker crewmember

Coast Guard District 8 NewsNEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard suspended its search for a missing crewmember, who fell overboard from a 750-foot oil tanker 150 miles offshore Grand Isle in the Gulf of Mexico.

Missing is Feng Li, 31.

Coast Guard crews searched for approximately 27 hours, covering 17,815 square nautical miles, in an effort to locate Li.

Crews and aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile, Ala., Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, and the Coast Guard Cutter Heron, an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Sabine Pass, Texas assisted in the search.

“We depolyed multiple air and surface assets and coordinated with other commercial vessels in the area to exhaustively cover a search area of more than 17,000 square nautical miles; but unfortunately, we still did not locate him.,” said Capt. Duke Walker, chief of response for the Eighth Coast Guard District. “As a result, we suspended the search.”

At 10:10 a.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Houston overheard a VHF-FM radio broadcast from the 750-foot vessel, New Confidence, reporting that a crewmember fell overboard wearing casual clothing and no life jacket. Sector Houston relayed the distress call to the Eighth District command center.

The Coast Guard issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast to mariners in the area.

The search is suspended pending further developments.

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