Authorities investigated two separate boating incidents Saturday in which one man died and another is missing, said a Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries spokesman.
A 29-year-old Lafayette man died in a hospital Saturday after his boat propeller hit him and “cut him up pretty good,” Adam Eicnk said.
Authorities responded to a 911 report around 4:30 p.m. of injured boater Joel Grayson, whose vessel was anchored near a sandbar in Lake Maurepas between the Amite and Blind rivers, Einck said.
Another boat had driven too close to Grayson’s boat and clipped the rope to its anchor, Einck said.
The anchor fell into water that was only about 3 to 5 feet deep, so Grayson dove down to grab it, Einck said.
Grayson came back up and attempted to climb into his boat from the back, Einck said.
As Grayson climbed up, the boat’s propeller, which was spinning, hit him, Einck said.
Grayson was taken to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
Authorities are not sure if the propeller was running when Grayson dove for his anchor or if something accidentally turned it on, Einck said.
About an hour later, authorities began searching for a boater who disappeared in the Tickfaw River near Lake Maurepas, Einck said.
Wildlife and Fisheries officials were called around 5:30 p.m. Saturday after receiving a report that an 18-foot lake skiff boat with nobody aboard was running in circles near the mouth of the Tickfaw River, Einck said.
Officials got the boat under control, and after examining the boat’s registration, discovered it belonged to Daniel Mitchell, 51, of Springfield.
Authorities, including officials from Wildlife and Fisheries, the Coast Guard, Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Killian Dive Team, searched for Mitchell Sunday, but as of 5:30 p.m., he was still missing, Einck said.