Justin D. Price of Morgan City was found about 10 p.m. Thursday. Price was located by a search volunteer in the Flat Lake area, according to a news release from St. Mary Parish Sheriff Mark Hebert.
The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office received a call around 8:30 p.m. regarding a missing boater. A boat belonging to Price was located adrift and unoccupied.
The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office Water Patrol immediately began a search and rescue effort. Multiple agencies and volunteers launched over two dozen boats from the Russo Boat Landing to assist in the search.
Price was taken to Teche Regional Medical Center and treated for hypothermia. Price told detectives that he was out hunting when his boat became stuck on a sand bar. While Price attempted to warm up by building a fire, the boat drifted away with the rising water.
The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office, Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and Morgan City, Berwick, Bayou Vista and Amelia Volunteer Fire Departments, along with individual volunteers participated in the search that led Price’s safe return.
The U.S. Coast Guard was also standing by ready to assist by helicopter had that step been necessary, the release stated.
The release also included the following boating safety tips:
—Boaters are reminded that weather conditions can change quickly and can be unforgiving this time of year when temperatures drop.
—Boaters should always be aware of conditions including tidal activity, wind and what time sunset occurs. Even the most experienced boaters are not immune to mishaps.
—Be sure to let someone know where you’re going, when you’re going and when you will return. Don’t change the plan without letting that someone know.