ST. FRANCISVILLE, La. (KLFY) – A pilot found floating in the Mississippi River after 12 hours has been identified.
Authorities said 62-year-old Victor Guillory of Lafayette was seen holding on to a propane bottle, floating in the river near the mouth of Bayou Sara Friday evening.
Deputies launched a boat and rescued him.
According to reports, Guillory was flying a Robinson R-44 helicopter from Lafayette when the helicopter “went down in the river” about 4:45 a.m. Friday, approximately 45 minutes after leaving the Lafayette area.
Sheriff Brian Spillman confirmed that Guillory was the only one in the aircraft when it crashed.
“He is extremely lucky to have survived the crash, and that he went down in an area that is near a public access point to the river,’” Sheriff Brian Spillman said.
“He was in the water over 12 hours. I don’t think he could have lasted much longer.”
Guillory was transported to a Baton Rouge hospital suffering from exposure and a possible diabetic condition.
He was released from the hospital Saturday.
The sheriff’s office said it was spending Saturday and Sunday searching for the downed aircraft using a helicopter, drone and boat.