LDWF agents participate in rescuing two boaters from the Atchafalaya River

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents participated in a successful search and rescue mission in Avoyelles Parish on March 11.

LDWF Corporal Douglas Anderson received a call around 4 p.m. about a capsized vessel in the Atchafalaya River at Simmesport with two boaters in the water. Corporal Anderson and Simmesport Volunteer fireman, Cody Jackson, immediately launched Corporal Anderson’s vessel just south of the reported incident.

Around the same time, LDWF Corporal Tib Guillory was off duty and fishing in the area with his friend. Corporal Guillory learned about the capsized vessel and rushed to the scene.

Corporal Anderson and Corporal Guillory both arrived to the scene about the same time at around 4:10 p.m. and saw two men clinging to a floating piece of plywood in the river. Each agent pulled a man into their vessels and brought them to the nearest boat launch. The men refused care from Emergency Medical Services on scene and went home without injury.

According to the rescued boaters, they were on a homemade 20-foot vessel in the Atchafalaya River when their vessel capsized around 3:50 p.m. The men were discharged into approximately 55-degree swift water without life jackets. A witness on the bank called 911.

“These agents, the volunteer fireman and good a Samaritan all sprang into action and saved the lives of two boaters,” said Col. Rachel Zechenelly. “These two boaters probably wouldn’t have lasted very long considering they weren’t wearing life jackets while also combined with the swiftness and temperature of the water. It took quick reactions from everyone involved to bring these boaters to safety.”

LDWF agents will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident. The capsized vessel sank in the river. The men were found in the river about a mile south from where their vessel capsized.