Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Two Pontoon Boat Anglers Drown on Toledo Bend

Search and rescue teams with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office, Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the Sabine Parish Fire District responded to a fatal boating incident in Sabine Parish on May 28.

The body of Macy Richard, 27, of Opelousas, was recovered by the search and rescue teams from Toledo Bend Lake shortly after responding to the incident. Search and rescue teams recovered the body of Jerilyn Hebert, 57, of Opelousas, from Toledo Bend Lake around 4:30 p.m.

According to the survivors, five customers chartered a fishing boat with a fishing guide on Toledo Bend Lake. The wind and waves quickly picked up around 11:50 a.m. and a wave hit the pontoon boat causing it to capsize sending all six people into the water. The guide was able to call 911.

When LDWF agents arrived on the scene they found three of the customers and the guide clinging to the capsized vessel and were able to pull them onto the LDWF vessel around 1 p.m.

The bodies of Richard and Hebert were turned over to the Sabine Parish Coroner’s Office to determine official causes of death.

The U.S. Coast Guard will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.