Coast Guard, sheriffs locate missing hunter near Lake Salvador

America's Heartland Coast Guard News
NEW ORLEANS — A Coast Guard aircrew and sheriff’s boatcrew located a 64-year-old hunter after his boat sank in the marshes on the northern edge of Lake Salvador, Wednesday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report from the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office of a missing man at approximately 2 a.m. The man reportedly boarded a 15-foot aluminum boat from Fisherman’s Wharf at Bayou Gauche at approximately 9 a.m. Tuesday to go hunting and was due to return by sunset. His boat reportedly became stuck in the mud in Bayou Gauche and then sank Tuesday afternoon. When he did not return home, his wife called the local authorities.

A Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew launched at approximately 4 a.m. and spotted a person in the marshes matching the description of a missing boater wearing a red flannel shirt. The aircrew safely hoisted the man and transported him to the air station in Belle Chasse.

The Coast Guard and St. Charles Parish sheriffs searched a 263 square-mile area for approximately six hours to locate the hunter.

“He managed to get on a muddy bank and started a brush fire to alert us,” said Lt. j.g. Brandt Allen, Air Station New Orleans pilot. “The smoke helped us locate him quickly; he was spot-on with his survivial skills.”

The Coast Guard recommends everyone file a float plan. Before you go out, leave  information about your trip with a family member or friend who is staying on shore. Include all information that would help rescuers in case of emergency; how many people on board, where you are going, how long you will be out and a description of your boat. Like a life jacket, a float plan is a life-saving device on paper, which can make the difference in rescue and response time in the event of an emergency.

BAYOU GAUCHE, La. - A Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans rescue swimmer gives the ready sign to the MH-65 crew prior to hoisting a 64-year-old hunter reported missing by his wife on Bayou Gauche, Jan. 23, 2013. The hunter alerted the aircrew by starting a brush fire on a muddy bank. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

A Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans rescue swimmer gives the ready sign to the MH-65 crew prior to hoisting a 64-year-old hunter reported missing by his wife on Bayou Gauche, Jan. 23, 2013. The hunter alerted the aircrew by starting a brush fire on a muddy bank. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

BELLE CHASSE, La. - A Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew takes a photo with a 64-year-old hunter at Air Station New Orleans in Belle Chasse after his wife reported him missing, Jan. 23, 2013. The hunter alerted the aircrew by starting a brush fire on a muddy bank on Bayou Gauche. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

A Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew takes a photo at Air Station New Orleans in Belle Chasse after having rescued him Jan. 23, 2013.U.S. Coast Guard photo.

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One Comment

  1. Judy Olivier says:

    There ar no words that can thank everyone involved in the search and safe return of my husband.

    The efforts of US Coast Guard, Wildlife and Fisheries, Terrebonne Water Patrol and Sheriff’s deputies, LaFourche Sheriff’s deputies, and St. Charles Sheriff’s deputies was conducted in a extremely professional manner. This is my first and hope last experience of this kind. The people involved showed they are well trained and exprienced and made me feel confident they were doing everything possible to find my husband.

    Thank you for the phone calls that kept me updated, through out the long night, which kept my faith strong that Ronnie would be found safe. Thank each and everyone for risking your life to return Ronnie home to his family.

    Thanking God for people like you and keeping all of you safe.

    Sincerely,
    Judy Olivier