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LDWF Agents rescue 2 overdue boaters in Avoyelles Parish

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Posted at 4:45 PM, Nov 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-12 17:45:57-05

AVOYELLES PARISH, La. - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents completed a successful search and rescue mission on Nov. 11 in Avoyelles Parish.

Agents were notified around 10 p.m. on Nov. 11 about two overdue boaters on the Red River. Agents immediately responded to the scene to conduct search and rescue operations.

After repeated attempts to contact the overdue boaters by cell phone failed, agents were able to find their location by having LDWF dispatch ping the cell phones, according to an LDWF press release.

Agents launched vessels and headed to the location of the cell phones and were able to locate the missing boaters standing on a rock jetty around midnight. Agents loaded the missing boaters into their vessel and brought them back to the landing where family members were waiting.

The missing boaters said their 14-foot aluminum vessel started taking on water and sunk. They were able to swim to the rock jetty to get out of the water.

"This successful search and rescue operation shows the importance of filing a float plan with your loved ones before getting in a vessel," said Major Rachel Zechenelly, the state's boating law administrator. "This could have been a far worse outcome with those missing boaters being stranded overnight in the cold. Thankfully their family notified authorities once they were overdue and our agents were able to find them before hypothermia set in."