MOREHOUSE PARISH, La. (KNOE) - One man is dead after a boating accident in Morehouse Parish.
Deputies responded to a call on the Bonne-Idee at Bayou Drive around 1:30 p.m. Friday afternoon.
Officers confirm a 66-year-old man was driving a small aluminum vessel when he fell overboard. His body was recovered around 2:45 p.m.
A woman, who witnesses say was the victim’s sister, was also on board.
“When I got home, I thought I heard someone hollering, but I didn’t see anything,” said Lemon Morgan. “I went off down that direction about 500 yards and a lady was down there in the boat and that was the boat involved in the accident. Her brother had fallen out of it.”
Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Corporal Ray Ellerbe says the victim was not wearing a life jacket.
Morgan believes the man possibly hit a stump in the bayou, causing him to lose control.
“All though a lot of stumps are marked, when it gets down that low some of them you don’t see. And you still can’t see them with just a little bit under water and you can still hit one them. That’s evidently what happened,” said Morgan.
Ellerbe says they don’t believe the victim was under the influence, and they don’t suspect foul play.
Officials want to remind people who ride on water, to always wear and have the proper safety devices on board.
According to the Wildlife and Fisheries website, each person on board must wear a USCG–approved Type I, II, III, or V PFD while underway on a motorboat less than 16 feet long using an outboard motor that is steered by a hand tiller or steering arm attached to the motor. This requirement does not apply to electronic trolling motors.
In addition to the above requirements, boats 16 feet in length or longer must have one USCG–approved throwable device on board and readily accessible.