Rescue personnel from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division, St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Office (SMSO) and the U.S. Coast Guard assisted in rescuing a father and son from Duck Lake in St. Martin Parish this morning, Dec. 27.
Russ Tircuit, 58, and his son Michael Tircuit, 25, both of Addis were rescued from the water about 8:35 a.m. by SMSO deputies and transported to the Franklin Foundation Hospital for hypothermia treatment.
Rescue personnel received a 911 call around 8 a.m. from Michael Tircuit that he was able to place on his cell phone. Michael told the rescuers where they were and that they were clinging to the bow of their capsized boat.
According to Michael, he and his father were duck hunting and got into their 16 foot aluminum boat to retrieve a duck that was floating away. The boat struck an object in the water, which caused the boat to take a violent right turn ejecting him and his father into the water.
According to Michael, his father was wearing a kill switch, which cut off the boat’s 90 horsepower motor. When the boat came to a stop they were able to swim back to the floating capsized boat and hang on until rescuers were on sight.
“If the father was not wearing a kill switch, then this incident could have been a tragedy. We have seen boating incidents similar to this one that turned fatal because the operator was not wearing a kill switch and the runaway boat hit ejected people in the water,” said Col. Winton Vidrine, LDWF’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer.
The LDWF Enforcement Division will conduct a boating investigation to determine the cause of the incident.