Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents are investigating a fatal boating incident that occurred in St. Tammany Parish on Oct. 8.
Agents recovered the body of Darryl J. Batiste, 65, of Lacombe, around 6:15 p.m. from Bayou Des Mats off Lake Pontchartrain on the Big Branch National Wildlife Refuge. His body was turned over to the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death.
Agents were notified about an unmanned vessel in Bayou Des Mats and immediately began searching for Batiste. Agents believe that Batiste was attempting to lift his trolling motor out of the water when the rope broke causing him to lose his balance and fall into the water.
LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident. Batiste’s body was recovered without a personal flotation device.
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