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Coast Guard suspends search for man in Vermilion Bay after boat crash

U.S. Coast Guard officials said two people were on the boat Thursday night when they hit a submerged object and were thrown from the boat.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

NEW ORLEANS — The search for a missing boater in Vermilion Bay was called off Saturday night after several days of searching for a man who fell overboard when his boat hit a submerged object. 

One person was rescued after being tossed into the water, but the U.S. Coast Guard was unable to find the second persondespite searching over 1,700 square miles over a 25-hour period. 

USCG said the missing passenger was a 40-year-old man. He was last seen wearing khaki shorts and a white or gray shirt. 

"After an exhaustive search the Coast Guard and local partners were unable to locate the missing mariner," said Lt. Cmdr. Michelle Ferguson, the search and rescue mission coordinator at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans, in a statement Sunday. "The decision to suspend a search is never easy and our thoughts are with the families and loved ones during this very difficult time."

According to initial reports, the boaters went out on the water Thursday but still had not returned to shore by midnight. The Coast Guard was called and the search began. 

A Coast Guard helicopter crew out of New Orleans soon found the boat capsized in the water, and found one survivor who had swam to a nearby rig. 

The survivor told the guardsmen they had had a submerged object, throwing the pair overboard and flipping the vessel. 

No other information was immediately available. 

The crash happened the same day as a Terrebonne Parish shrimper was found dead in Lake Barre, after he disappeared into the lake Wednesday. 

Thinh Quoc Lam, 36, went missing around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday from the shrimp boat "Miss Sue," after going overboard. 

SEE: Missing shrimper found dead in Terrebonne Parish

The boat's captain told search crews they had discovered Lam was no longer on board and thought he may be in the water.

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