Pasadena port workers familiar with sea-life dangers

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People who work on the water say their thoughts are with the family of lost crew members. They say to work at sea, you have to have a healthy respect for mother nature. (KTRK)

It was the worst case scenario for the crew of El Faro, trapped in the path of a Category 4 hurricane.

The search for the ship and its crew is not far from the minds of many maritime veterans in the port community of Pasadena.

"The weather will take over any time it wants to," Jerry Creasey said. "There's no predicting it, really. It's just a matter of circumstance."

Creasey is getting re-certified through San Jacinto College to work on cargo ships.

"There's ship hazards, there's so many problems you can run into, it's unbelievable," Creasey said. "There's a lot of training involved."

Part of that training involves suiting up in immersion suits. The suit can save a passenger's life if he falls overboard, but it cannot keep a body warm enough for very long.

San Jacinto College Maritime Simulations Operator Bryan Elliott explains.

"It's designed to protect the person at 32-degree water for up to six hours," Elliott said.

After that, there are no guarantees. The immersion suits were on board El Faro. The Coast Guard announced Monday that rescue teams located one of the suits in the ocean. It contained unidentifiable human remains.

Creasey said working at sea is dangerous and can take a toll on family members, too.

"Not only do they not get to see them everyday, they got to wait a month for them to come back," Creasey said, "And then sometimes, they don't."

He's hoping the families of El Faro crew members can stay strong.
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