Trump Donates to United Cajun Navy for Search and Rescue Mission

April 26, 2021 Updated: April 26, 2021

Former President Donald Trump recently made a donation to the United Cajun Navy, a nonprofit that spearheads search and rescue efforts across the nation, for its search and rescue mission for crewmembers of the Seacor Power.

The group on April 23 confirmed Trump’s donation, thanking him.

“We will bring every crewmember of the #seacorpower vessel home!” the nonprofit wrote on Twitter.

Todd Terrell, president of the United Cajun Navy (UCN), confirmed to local news outlets that Trump donated $10,000. He said the money would be used to bolster search efforts for crew members from Seacor Power, a 129-foot lift boat that capsized on April 13 off the coast of Louisiana.

Trump’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.

A U.S. Coast Guard-led mission, including Good Samaritans, resulted in the finding of 11 people from the capsized vessel; five were dead.

Eight crew members remained missing when the Coast Guard suspended its search on April 19.

“We extend our appreciation to everyone who volunteered to assist during the search effort. Suspending a search is one of the toughest decisions the Coast Guard has to make,” Capt. Will Watson, commander of Coast Guard Sector New Orleans, said in a statement at the time.

Seacor Marine said it was focusing on recovering those who were still missing, including supporting “some of the most experienced and qualified salvors and divers in the world, who will not stop until they thoroughly search the entire vessel.”

The United Cajun Navy stepped in after the search suspension and launched what it has described as a “massive search effort from the land, air, and water” to try to find the remaining crew members.

darra morales
Darra Ann Morales, right, shows a photo of her son Chaz Morales and his family on her phone, as Chaz Jr., 10, comforts his grandmother at their home in Slidell, La., on April 14, 2021. (Max Becherer/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP)
Epoch Times Photo
The capsized Seacor Power is seen south of Grand Isle, La., on April 13, 2021. (U.S. Coast Guard via Reuters)

While boats searched areas where debris was reported, other searchers took to the air for a different vantage point. At the same time, people on ATVs are covering beach areas.

Christifer DeRouen, a UCN official, said in an April 25 video broadcast that he was hopeful some of the missing members were still alive.

“In my opinion, there’s way too many coincidences going on with everybody that’s involved in this search. I really do believe that something special is going to come of this,” he said.

Darra Morales, mother of Chaz Morales, one of the crew members who remained missing, urged people to donate to the Navy in a video filmed at her home over the weekend. She also wondered why some officials haven’t addressed the incident.

“The governor’s said nothing, the president’s said nothing. I just think the military should be helping or something,” she said.

The White House didn’t immediately respond to requests by The Epoch Times for comments.

Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, after the capsizing, asked all Louisianans to hold a moment of silence for the crew of the Seacor Power.

Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) said last week that he has been in contact with the Coast Guard and Seacor Marine about the search and rescue, “and we offered every measure of federal support deemed necessary to assist with the search, rescue, and recovery missions.”

“I share the public’s frustration and sadness with the outcome of the rescue missions. We are resolved to ensure last week’s tragedy is deeply reviewed. My office supports a thorough investigation into the events preceding and following the vessel’s capsizing.”

What caused the vessel to capsize remains unclear, but two lawsuits have been filed against Seacor thus far. One was filed by the wife of Dylan Daspit, a missing sailor, while the other was lodged by Krista Vercher, whose fiancé remains missing. Both allege the ship shouldn’t have sailed from Port Fourchon when it did because of warnings of intense winds.

Talos Energy Inc., which commissioned the boat to travel to an oil platform it owns in the Gulf of Mexico, has said it was the decision of Seacor as to when to sail.

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