Lutcher man’s body recovered

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Boater was missing in Blind River since Sunday


Staff Reporter

LUTCHER – Authorities recovered the body of a 51-year-old Lutcher man who went missing into the Blind River on Sunday afternoon after he was slung into the waters in a speedboat accident.

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, in conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard and the St. John, St. James, Livingston, and Ascension Parishes canvassed the Blind River since late Sunday until they recovered Byron Madere’s body at 3:20 p.m. on Tuesday, roughly two miles upriver of Lake Maurepas.

Eyewitness statements claim that Madere was roaring through the Blind River on his 19-foot STV speedboat at roughly 80 mph when his boat shot off a wake and slammed back into the water before it took a hard right turn that sent Madere’s body tearing through the boat’s portside fiberglass sidewall, according to Capt. Len Yokum, region seven supervisor of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries.

Madere disappeared into the water as his boat spun along the river until it came to a rest.

Madere was the boat’s lone occupant and was not wearing a life jacket at the time of the crash.

A bolt in the boat’s steering linkage was sheared off, but investigators have yet to pinpoint whether it caused the accident or broke during or after the accident, according to Yokum.

Authorities have not identified the cause of death pending an autopsy, but his body’s only sign of trauma was a severely injured right arm.

Alcohol is not suspected as factor in the accident.

The incident is under investigation by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries.