Fourth missing boater rescued in Lake Pontchartrain

NEW ORLEANS — Saint Tammany’s Parish Water Patrol rescued a missing boater from Lake Pontchartrain at approximately11:30 a.m., Sunday, nearly 24 hours after his boat capsized in Lake Pontchartrain.

The 72-year-old man was discovered by the Saint Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office water patrol approximately five miles south of Mandeville, La. He was thrown into the water along with one other adult male, age 40, and two children, ages 5 and 13, when their vessel capsized in Lake Pontchartrain at approximately 12:00 p.m. Saturday.

Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received an initial report at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Saturday that the foursome had not returned from a day boat trip at a time pre-arranged with their friends and family.

The Coast Guard immediately launched an MH-65C Dolphin helicopter and crew which located and hoisted the 5-year-old and 40-year-old and transported them to East Jefferson Hospital. A Saint Tammany Parrish Sheriff’s Office response boat located the 13-year-old boy, who was brought to Lakeview Hospital for medical care Saturday evening. The 72-year-old man was transferred to Lakeview hospital this morning. The condition of all four rescued boaters is unknown.

During the search, the Coast Guard deployed two MH-65C Dolphin helicopters, two 41-foot rescue boats from Coast Guard Station New Orleans, and a HC-144 Ocean Sentry rescue plane from Aviation Training Center Mobile, Ala.

“These boaters greatly increased their chances of survival by telling their friends and family where they were going, and when they expected to return. When they failed to return on time, their families made a speedy report of distress to local authorities, which enabled us to rescue them much more quickly,” said Coast Guard Sector New Orleans Command Duty Officer Lt. j.g. Brian Sattler.

All four were wearing life jackets, which also increased their chances of survival. The Coast Guard encourages boaters to wear life jackets at all times when on the water.

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