12 missing off US Gulf Coast after ship capsizes

Washington: A dozen people were missing at sea off the US state of Louisiana on Wednesday after a commercial ship capsized in the Gulf of Mexico, sparking a rescue operation that saved six others.

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The United States Coastguard and a fleet of volunteers were deployed to search for the 18 crew on board after the vessel capsized in a storm near Port Fourchon, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) south of New Orleans.

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The ship was a 129-foot (39.3 meters) lift vessel, the coastguard said, adding that the search for the remaining crew was ongoing.

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“We’re still looking for others right now,” Petty Officer Jonathan Lally, a spokesman for the coastguard, told The Washington Post early on Wednesday.

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The operation came as an unexpectedly strong storm hit the area, creating dangerous conditions for boats in the Gulf.

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported gusts up to 75 miles per hour (120 kilometers per hour) on Louisiana’s southern coast, according to local media.

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