Port Arthur Fire Department personnel helping in search for missing boater

Published 11:28 am Monday, April 18, 2022

ORANGE COUNTY — A dive team from Port Arthur Fire Department is aiding in the search for a man who was ejected from a boat after crashing into a bridge pylon in Orange on Sunday.

The crash took place in Little Cypress Bayou.

Orange County Emergency District 3 asked for the assistance Monday morning, according to Battalion Chief Jay Fountain.

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Orange County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Joey Jacobs said the call of the crash came in at approximately 6 p.m. Sunday to the area of Little Cypress Bayou, north of Interstate 10 in Orange.

“We determined a vessel was traveling under the bridge and struck one of the pylons at what appears to be a high rate of speed,” Jacobs said.

A female passenger received serious injuries to her head, legs and throughout her body. She remained in the boat and bystanders assisted her.

The man driving the boat was ejected and had not been found as of 11 a.m. Monday.

Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens are leading the investigation.

The search for the man included underwater scans and side scans from boats. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office does have aerial assets and drones if needed. They had not been used yet, Jacobs said.

According to Jacobs, the two victims are from Orange County.

Orange County Sheriff Jimmy Lane Mooney said he’s not aware of seeing an incident such as this before in his 35 years in law enforcement.