VERMILION PARISH, La. (KLFY) — Three Acadiana teens are thankful they’re alive after their boat capsized in Vermilion Bay.
They’re now safe and back home with their families after a terrifying morning.
“It’s always a great one, to get a call to go pick up three, and you bring three back. It’s a win for everybody,” Sergeant Justin Sonnier with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said.
It was 6 a.m. Friday morning when Sgt. Sonnier got the call that three teen boys were stranded in the water in Vermillion Bay near Mudd Point.
Their boat capsized while they were on their way to duck hunt.
“You don’t realize how rough it is sometimes until the sun comes up. They realized it was rough, but it was too late for them. They tried turning around, but unfortunately, the boat just flooded too quickly. They couldn’t get back to where they wanted to safely, and the boat flooded and sank,” he told News Ten.
Though the boys’ phones were too wet to dial 911, they used the emergency SOS function by holding the button on the side of their phone.
Sonnier and a deputy with the Vermillion Parish Sheriff’s Office rushed to help.
“We located them on top of their sunken vessel. The vessel was capsized, and the three juveniles were on top of the vessel waiting for our arrival,” he said.
“I know they were happy to see us, and they were happy to get off the top of that boat.”
Sonnier says they reached the stranded teens in about 45 minutes. Luckily, they were able to hang on.
“To arrive there and know that there was three people that needed help and to see all three people standing on top of the boat or laying on the boat, that’s always a plus,” he said.
“Unfortunately, the boat still sunk out there. They lost their hunting equipment, their shotguns and stuff like that, but we told them, we’ve been doing this a long time. Don’t worry about those things. You’re back safe. We got them to EMT personnel. They were dried off, vitals were checked. Everything was great. They were released to their families. That’s a good day. It’s always a good day where it’s like that because we’ve seen days where it hasn’t been as fortunate,” Sonnier said.
He says he recommends everyone have a float plan when going out on the water.
That means telling someone where you’re going and what route you’re taking. Sonnier says that will give search teams a starting place to look if something happens.