BOSSIER PARISH, LA (KSLA) - A man was left clinging to a cypress tree after his boat sank Monday afternoon in Lake Bistineau.
Authorities first became aware of the boater's plight when someone called 911 at 4:17 p.m.
But dispatchers could not hear anything. And the call disconnected a short time later.
So dispatchers tried calling back.
After a few minutes, a man answered and said he and his two dogs needed help because his boat had sunk in Lake Bistineau.
Then the man's cellphone got wet and authorities lost contact with the man.
Bossier sheriff's deputies went to the man's residence on Evangeline Drive where he originally launched his boat.
"They needed to act quickly since Marine Patrol units were not there yet," sheriff's Lt. Bill Davis said.
So they spoke with a neighbor who knew the stranded boater.
The neighbor had a pontoon boat already docked in the water, so he offered to take the deputies out to where his friend might be in the lake.
Less than 10 minutes later, they found the boater.
He had a life jacket on and "was doing everything he could to hold onto the tree and his dogs," sheriff's Sgt. Tim Wynn said.
His 14-foot jon boat was some 40 to 50 yards away with only the tip sticking out of the water.
Medics checked out the boater and his dogs after deputies and the neighbor rescued him at 5:08 p.m.
All are fine.
"This neighbor helped us save valuable rescue time by allowing us to quickly launch his boat in the water," Wynn said. "He was ready to go, and we are grateful for his help."
Bossier Marine Patrol units, a Bossier Fire District 2 rescue boat and Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries personnel later recovered the sunken jon boat.
"I am surely grateful for the quick response by our deputies," Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington said.