Missing St. Mary Parish Boaters Found
A family headed out to Halters Island did not return from their boating trip this Sunday evening, and the St. Mary Parish Sherrif's Office Marine Division was activated to search for the family.
Peter and Jennifer Orlando along with their son and daughter, ages 12 and 15, left Saturday morning on the trip, but they did not return to the landing in Berwick when they were expected.
Family members called, but their phones kept going to voicemail.
The St. Mary Marine Division along with the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's Office, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fishers, and the US Coast Guard began looking for the missing boaters.
Lieutenant Ross Mire of the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office Marine Division and Major Gary Driskell spotted the family's boat in Pellegrin Cut across Fourleague Bay from Halters Island in Terrebonne Parish.
The family was found safe inside a small houseboat just before 10 p.m. Sunday evening.
Investigators says at some point on Saturday, Peter Orlando's boat motor failed after catching fire. Orlando was able to use a fire extinguisher to put out the fire, and then he used his trolling motor to get to land.
The family then took refuge in a small houseboat anchored nearby and waited until they were rescued.