Coast Guard searching for missing boaters near New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard is searching for two missing boaters on the Mississippi River near New Orleans.

At approximately 2:30 p.m., Saturday, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report from the crew of a towing vessel that two young males and a dog went into the water after their pirogue got caught against a fleet of barges moored along the banks of the Mississippi River. They were not reported to be wearing life jackets.

An MH-65C rescue helicopter and crew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans and a 41-foot rescue boat and crew from Coast Guard Station New Orleans have responded and are searching for the missing boaters. Additionally, a New Orleans Harbor Police fire boat and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries agents are on scene assisting with search efforts.

The Mississippi River is a treacherous waterway and is especially dangerous to small craft. The Coast Guard strongly recommends owners and operators of small craft not attempt to navigate the Mississippi River, because of the strong currents and large quantity of commercial traffic.

Identities of the missing boaters is currently unknown.

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