St. Tammany deputies rescue five boaters - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

St. Tammany deputies rescue five boaters

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Causeway Bridge over Lake Pontchartrain-AP File Photo Causeway Bridge over Lake Pontchartrain-AP File Photo

St. Tammany Parish, La.- High winds caused trouble for north shore boaters Sunday.

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office Marine Division rescued five people in three simultaneous rescue operations.

Around 6:00 p.m. two boaters on Lake Pontchartrain near the mouth of the Tchefuncte River called 9-1-1 when their boat motor stalled leaving them stranded in rough seas kicked up by the windy conditions. A specialized boat designed to operate in shallow water was launched to bring them back to the boat launch in Madisonville.

Deputies were on their way to that incident when another boater distress call was passed along by Causeway Police. In that case, a sailboat with a father and his 11-year-old son on board was helpless against the high winds and being pushed toward the Causeway. When deputies got to them, they found that the wind had capsized the boat throwing the father and son into the water. Rescuers were able to transport them to shore where EMTs transported the child to the hospital to be treated for symptoms of hypothermia.

In the third incident, a fisherman reported he was lost in the swamp in his pirogue, dehydrated and feeling weak. A Sheriff's office helicopter was able to locate the fisherman and deputies brought him to safety.

Sheriff Jack Strain anticipates more activity on the water and more incidents as the weather gets warmer. With that in mind, Strain has this advice, "boaters are encouraged to watch the weather and to always leave a boating plan with someone. Whether it is a formal plan or informal phone calls letting someone know where you are going."

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