The U.S. Coast Guard said six people were rescued after it got an emergency beacon notification around 4:30 p.m. and responded with other boats to the area 8 miles south of Port Fourchon, which is south of New Orleans, it said in a statement. The commercial ship was described as a lift vessel.
The area experienced a weather phenomenon, a "wake low," Tuesday afternoon, which resulted in winds of 70 to 80 mph that would have made seas very rough, said Benjamin Schott, meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service's New Orleans area office.
The search effort included an HC-144 Ocean Sentry plane from Corpus Christi, Texas, and four private vessels, in addition to several Coast Guard ships, boats and a helicopter.
Four people were rescued from the water by private vessels, the Coast Guard said.