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Helicopter pilot who left Lafayette went down in Mississippi River

Found floating in water for 12 hours
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Posted at 1:58 PM, Aug 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-21 15:04:29-04

A helicopter pilot who took off from Lafayette ended up in the Mississippi River, floating for 12 hours before being rescued.

West Feliciana Sheriff’s Deputies say they responded late Friday, August 20 to reports of a person floating in the Mississippi River near the mouth of Bayou Sara.

According to Sheriff Brian Spillman, when the responding deputies got to the scene, they saw a man clinging to a propane bottle around 50 feet off the bank.

WFPSO Crisis Response Team members launched a rescue vessel and attempted to reach him, while other deputies waded out into the water.

After bringing him to shore, the man told deputies he had left Lafayette in a Robinson R-44 helicopter before 4:00am and went down in the river about 45 minutes later.

He was transported to a Baton Rouge hospital suffering from exposure and a possible diabetic condition, they say.

“He is extremely lucky to have survived the crash, and that he went down in an area that is near a public access point to the river,” said Spillman. “He was in the water over 12 hours. I don’t think he could have lasted much longer.”

The man told deputies he was alone in the aircraft.

According to WBRZ, The pilot was identified as Victor Guillory, 62, of Lafayette. He was last listed in stable condition.

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