Sep 26, 2011 11:27 PM by Maddie Garrett
A Franklin man, missing for almost 24 hours in the Wax Lake area of the Atchafalaya Bay , is safe at home Monday night. The search took several hours and involved the St. Mary Sheriff's Office, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, U.S. Coast Guard, St Mary Parish Civil Air Patrol and friends and family members.
Randy Segura had headed out on his air boat in the Belle Island area of the Atchafalaya Bay Sunday afternoon. He somehow got separated by a friend just as the sun was setting.
"I realized it was too dark and I didn't know the area good enough so I turned around and tried to back track to where I was," said Segura.
But Segura was lost, and almost out of fuel. He said he realized he would have to wait until morning to try and get home, so he tied up to a light platform in the Bay and anchored his boat.
"I would untie the boat go around the little platform and hit SOS, SOS, you know, a couple times a night," he said.
After sending out several SOS signals, Segura realized he was stuck for the night. So he put on a life jacket, bunkered down and went to sleep right on the bottom of his boat.
Though he was hungry, and only had one bottle of water left, Segura said he wasn't too concerned about his own safety.
"I was just worried about the people that was worried about me," he said.
So when daylight came he used what gas he had left and then paddled about two miles to get help.
"I got all the way to the edge of the Intercoastal and tied up and waited for the right person to come along, which took all day," said Segura.
A passing boat finally picked him up and alerted authorities he was found. His family was waiting for him at a boat ramp near Franklin, breathing a sigh of relief.
"I'm very relieved, we all are, my whole family," said his father, Allen Segura.
"It really means a lot to our family that we had so many people that was praying for his safe return and we're so happy that he's home," said Jeannie Segura, another family member.