Coast Guard searching for missing boaters

NEW ORLEANS – The Coast Guard is searching for two missing boaters, who reportedly capsized in a canoe on Lake Pontchartrain, Saturday morning, near Bayou St. John.

A watchstander at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a phone call at 11:40 a.m. today from the New Orleans Police Department stating that a Good Samaritan reported that three people aboard a canoe had capsized and two people did not resurface.

The Coast Guard launched a rescue helicopter crew from Air Station New Orleans and a rescue boat crew from Station New Orleans to search for the missing boaters. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is assisting in the search.

If anyone has any information about the missing boaters, they are requested to contact the Coast Guard at 1 (504) 846-6162.

The Coast Guard reminds boaters to:

* carry a VHF radio – these radios allow for any boater in your vicinity to hear your call and the signal can be easily traced by the Coast Guard
* wear Coast Guard approved life jackets
* be aware of weather and water conditions
* never boat or paddle alone
* file a float plan to let others know where you are going and make sure they know
* what to do and who to call in case of an emergency
* be constantly aware of other vessels in the immediate area
* be cautious – do not exceed your ability to handle your vessel

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