Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents are investigating a fatal boating incident in Tangipahoa Parish.
LDWF agents recovered the body of Edward Ridgel Jr., 66, of Tickfaw, from South Pass Manchac this morning, March 14, around 7:45 a.m.
Agents received a call from Ridgel’s family that he was an overdue boater around 6:30 p.m. on March 13. Ridgel’s family told agents that he launched his boat from North Pass Landing in the morning to go fishing.
Agents along with members of the Manchac Fire Department and Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office (TPSO) deputies immediately began searching for Ridgel.
A commercial crab fishermen spotted an unmanned 16 foot aluminum vessel in South Pass Manchac around 7:15 a.m. Agents arrived on scene and found Ridgel’s body in the water around 7:45 a.m. about 30 feet from the boat.
LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident. It is unknown at this time how Ridgel was ejected from the vessel. Ridgel’s body was turned over to the Tangipahoa Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death. Ridgel was not wearing a personal flotation device at the time of his recovery.