Third Gonzales boater’s body recovered in Lake Maurepas

Wade McIntyre

Authorities recovered the body of a third victim Monday after a boating accident Saturday on Lake Maurepas in which five persons from Gonzales were involved.

Ryan Ducote, 24, was found around 8 a.m., Adam Einck of Wildlife and Fisheries told The Citizen Tuesday.

Earlier, the  body of Anna Hite, 20, was found shortly after noon on Sunday, and Mikayla Thibodaux after 2 p.m. the same day, he said.

The two other boaters, Trey White, 24, and Blake Caronna, were rescued Saturday; White was taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Gonzales suffering from arm and pelvic injuries. Caronna was uninjured , Einch said.

The five boaters were headed toward Blind River around 2:20 p.m. from the lake when they decided to stop for a swim about two miles out from the mouth of the river, Einck said.

As the first four boaters got into the water, the 85-horsepower engine of the late model boat was idling, Einck said. Then something happened to the throttle and the fifth person, was thrown into the water, he said.

The boat began circling the swimmers, hitting three of them, Einck said. After about 40 minutes of circling, another boat appeared on the scene and the boat involved in the accident began to run out of gas.

Authorities received at 911 call from the arriving boat reporting a single boating, Einck said.

Wildlife and Fisheries, sheriff’s offices from Ascension, St. James, St. John and Livingston parishes, the Killian Police Department, and Coast Guard and Livingston helicopters responded to the scene and conducted searches.

The skiff the boaters rode in was at least 20 years old, Einck said. The ignition and steering were located on the right side of the steering wheel of the 16-to -18 foot boat, he said.

Authorities took routine blood samples of the two survivors, but do not suspect alcohol involvement in the accident, according to Einck.