Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents aided in the search for two Golden Meadow men on March 17 in Lafourche Parish.
The Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office (LPSO) was notified about a sunken vessel near the tidewater docks just south of Golden Meadow along La. Hwy. 1 around 8 a.m. Shortly thereafter LDWF agents and LPSO officers arrived on scene to conduct a search of the area.
Searchers found the deceased body of Orand J. Terrebonne Jr., 33, in the water shortly after 10 a.m. about a half mile from the vessel. The searchers were able to recover the body and vessel to bring back to the dock. Terrebonne Jr.’s body was then handed over to the Lafourche Parish Coronor’s Office.
The searchers then began the search for Simon P. Billiot, 32, who was the owner of the sunken vessel. An LDWF agent and Port Fourchon Harbor Policeman were able to fly in a VIH Cougar helicopter to help in the search.
Around 2:30 p.m., they found Billiot in the water clinging to the edge of the marsh a canal over from the sunken vessel. Billiot was loaded into the helicopter and airlifted to Our Lady of the Sea Memorial Hospital and treated for hypothermia.
According to Billiot, he and Terrebonne Jr. decided to go night fishing the previous night and left out of Bobby Lynn’s boat launch around 7:30 p.m. Billiot said they went to the bridges near Leeville and fished under the lights without success. In their search to find a better spot, Billiot said they struck an oyster reef and broke the seal on a fiberglass patch on the hull.
Billiot stated that the vessel sank upright and they abandoned it in favor of walking back to town through the marsh. He said that after walking some distance the two of them got separated and he decided to try to stay warm until daylight.
The boat was identified as a 14 foot Polarcraft with a hand tillered 25 horsepower engine.
Agencies involved in recovery and rescue were LDWF agents Lt. Chad Hebert, Agent Stephen Rhodes and Agent Ryan Breaux; LPSO Water Patrol Capt. Dean Savoie, Jeff Prevost, Kent Mathern and Cody Naquin; Port Commission Harbor Police Captain Larry Terry, Chief John Callias, Sgt. Troy Dufrene and Officer Tate Lafont; Golden Meadow Police Officer Reggie Pitre; and VIH Cougar helicopter pilots Grant Mills and Mike Belling along with rescue men Richard Cormier and Steve Johnson.
The LDWF Enforcement Division will be conducting the ensuing investigation. The cause of Terrbonne Jr.’s death is unknown at this time.
For more information, contact Adam Einck at firstname.lastname@example.org.