Special to the Minden Press-Herald
A couple of Bossier Sheriff’s Office deputies and a very helpful neighbor rescued a man and his two dogs from Lake Bistineau Monday afternoon after the man’s boat took on water and sank.
Bossier dispatchers initially received an open line 911 call at 4:17 p.m., meaning someone called, but dispatchers couldn’t hear anything on the other end of the line. A short time later, the line disconnected.
Dispatchers continued to make return calls to the number, but with no success. After a few minutes of trying, dispatchers were able to connect with the man on the other end of the cell phone, and he told them that his boat sank in Lake Bistineau and to send help for him and his two dogs. A short time later, they lost all communication with the man after his cell phone got wet.
Bossier deputies quickly got enroute to the man’s residence on Evangeline Drive where he originally launched his boat. They needed to act quickly since Marine Patrol units were not there yet. So they talked with a neighbor on Evangeline Drive who knew the stranded boater, and he offered to take them out to where his friend might be in the lake. They launched his pontoon boat, and less than 10 minutes later, they arrived at the place where the man was holding onto a cypress tree with his two dogs in the water.
“This neighbor helped us save valuable rescue time by allowing to quickly launch his boat in the water,” said Sgt. Tim Wynn, since he had his boat already in the water at his dock. “He was ready to go, and we are grateful for his help.”
When Sgt. Wynn, Dep. Duane Washington and the neighbor arrived where the man was in the water, Sgt. Wynn said the man had his life jacket on and “was doing everything he could to hold on to the tree and his dogs.” Only a tip of his 14-foot jon boat was sticking out of the water in the place where it was submerged some 40 to 50 yards away.
The deputies and neighbor rescued the man and his dogs in the neighbor’s boat at 5:08 p.m., which was nearly an hour after the initial 911 call. When they got the man and his dogs to shore, medics checked them out, and they were fine.
Bossier Marine Patrol units and Louisiana Department of Wildlife launched to recover the sunken jon boat, and they were able to bring the boat up a short time later. A Bossier Parish Fire District #2 rescue boat crew also came to the scene to assist them.
“I am surely grateful for the quick response by our deputies,” said Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington. “I am also equally appreciative of the Good Samaritan neighbor who volunteered to launch his boat and took us right to the spot where the man and his dogs were stranded. A man his dogs are safe tonight…that’s a good day.”