Crews continue search for missing BR firefighter

Authorities continued to search but were unable to find the Baton Rouge firefighter reported missing by his wife Wednesday afternoon at a boat launch in lower St. Martin Parish.

A dive team from the Baton Rouge Police Department joined the search Friday, which included the use of sonar and cadaver dogs in boats, said Curt Monte, a Baton Rouge Fire Department spokesman. Authorities will renew the search early Saturday morning, Monte said.

The firefighter, Jacob P. Lewis, 28, of Walker, became separated from his boat at the Belle River Public Boat Launch, authorities said. Lewis and his wife had gone out about 1 p.m. to scout areas to set crawfish traps in the Intracoastal Waterway, Assumption Parish Sheriff Mike Waguespack said.

The couple later went back to their truck at the launch, Waguespack said, and Lewis backed the truck down to attach the boat to the trailer. Lewis’ wife was in the truck and noticed that the boat didn’t hit the trailer, Waguespack said.

She saw the boat adrift and Lewis trying to swim while hollering for her to call 911 before she lost sight of him, the sheriff said.

The search has included emergency responders from St. Martin, Assumption and East Baton Rouge parishes, along with the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.