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LDWF locates body of missing boater

Four cited in St. Mary Parish for alleged crabbing violations
Posted at 6:38 PM, May 07, 2021

BUTTE LA ROSE, La. — The missing body of a boater that was missing since April 29 was recovered from the Little Atchafalaya River on May 7 in St. Martin Parish.

The body of Robert Schoeffler, 81, of Lafayette was found around 6 p.m. on May 7 and his body was turned over to the St. Martin Parish Coroner’s Office, according to a spokesperson for the Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Schoeffler was operating a 16-foot vessel with a passenger on board when another vessel collided with them on the Little Atchafalaya River about two miles south of the Butte La Rose Welcome Center Boat Launch around 2 p.m. on April 29, the spokesperson stated.

Schoeffler and his passenger were ejected into the water without wearing personal flotation devices. Schoeffler didn’t resurface and his passenger was able to swim back to the vessel. The operator of the other vessel was unconscious but remained in his vessel that was taking on water. A good Samaritan was able to recover the operator of the other vessel before it sank.

Search crews from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division, Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office, St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office immediately responded to the scene and searched for Schoeffler every day.

The operator of the other vessel was airlifted to Lafayette General Hospital where he is still in critical condition.

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