PORT FOURCHON, La. (WAFB) - Video shared by shrimp boat captain Aaron Callais shows the terrifying conditions in the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana’s southeastern coast during the afternoon of Tuesday, April 13, around the same time another vessel, Seacor Power, capsized.
“Hey I don’t know we might lose her, we in a bunch of water spouts, we’re getting slammed, the windows are starting to crack. The winds are blowing over 200 miles per hour,” Callais is heard saying in the video to his father, Michael Callais.
Callais tells WAFB his son and his crew were out shrimping in the Gulf on Tuesday when they heard the shrimp were biting closer to shore.
Shrimp boats are allowed to use four nets out in the Gulf but are only allowed to use two nets near the coast, Callais explains.
Aaron Callais pulled up two of the nets and began to head back towards the coast when the shrimp boat when he and his crew encountered the bad weather conditions.
As the conditions began to deteriorate, the younger Callais called his father to seek help in navigating the ship through the storm.
“I love you mom, I need you to put dad on the phone right now, it’s very important,” Aaron Callais is heard saying in the video.
In the video, Michael can be heard coaching his son through the storm.
“We trying. We trying. I’ve got her turned hard to port. I got her at 1300 RPM, turned hard to port to try to put us in it. We’re not having no luck. Just leaning hard over on it’s side. the ___ is in the water, the windows are cracking, we got our rigs on deck. We’re off in a big patch by grand isle. Robbie’s got my position,” Callais says.
Thankfully, Aaron Callais and his crew were able to safely return to Port Fourchon Tuesday evening.
“If he did not pull those first two nets in he [Aaron] and his crew would not be here,” Michael Callais tells WAFB.
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The senior Callais says if the shrimp boat had its four nets deployed it would’ve caused the boat to flip over into the water.
Michael Callais, who recently retired from the shrimping industry, says he has never seen weather like what his son experienced Tuesday with the exception of a named storm like a tropical storm or hurricane.
However, he explains with those kinds of storms you have time to get out of harm’s way.
WAFB’s Austin Kemker spoke with Aaron Callais Wednesday afternoon and will have a full report on 9News at Six.
Unfortunately, another vessel, Seacor Power capsized and at least one person died, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Coast Guard Crews are still searching for the remaining 12 crew members of the Seacor Power.
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