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Sunday, July 21, 2019

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Boating Incident in St. Bernard Parish Leaves One Man Dead

Boating Incident in St. Bernard Parish Leaves One Man Dead

Search and rescue crews responded to a fatal single vessel incident in St. Bernard Parish on Oct. 20. The boating incident resulted in the death of Ernest Owens, 66, of New Orleans.

Search crews from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office, St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Coast Guard and St. Bernard Fire Department were notified around 11 a.m. on Oct. 20 of a boat incident in Daylight Bay.

Search crews were guided to the scene around noon by LDWF and USCG aircraft and found a 64 year old Meraux man in an 18 foot vessel holding onto a non-respondent Owens who was in the water. According to the survivor the two men were fishing and decided to tie onto the back side of a barge to get out of the wind.  As Owens was attempting to tie onto the barge he fell into the water.  The survivor tried to throw flotation devices to Owens, but the wind kept pushing the flotation devices back towards the vessel.

The survivor was able to get his vessel close to Owens and tie on a line around his wrist to try and keep his head above water.  He was then able to call for help on his phone. The rescue crews were able to get both men into their vessels and rushed them back to the Serigne Marina where Emergency Medical Services personnel were waiting.

 After complaining of chest pains, the survivor was airlifted to the Tulane Hospital in New Orleans. Owens was pronounced dead at the marina and his body was turned over to the St. Bernard Parish Coroner’s Office.

LDWF is the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.  Neither man was wearing a personal flotation device.  Alcohol is not suspected at this time.  An autopsy will be performed on Owens to determine an official cause of death.