BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) Deputies in West Feliciana Parish pulled a man that was floating in the Mississippi River, near the mouth of Bayou Sara, on Friday night. He was clinging to a propane bottle 50 feet away from the bank.
Recognizing the man was in major distress, West Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office Crisis Response Team members launched a rescue vessel and attempted to reach him. Other deputies waded out into the water.
Sherriff Brian Spillman said that he was in the water for over 12 hours.
“I don’t think he could have lasted much longer,” Spillman said.
The man was brought to shore and told WFPSO deputies that he left Lafayette in a Robinson R-44 helicopter before 4 a.m. He said went down in the river about 45 minutes later, according to a WFPSO press release.
The man’s identity is being withheld while WFPSO notifies his family, but was transported to a Baton Rouge hospital. The man told deputies he was alone in the helicopter.
“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,” Spillman said.