Coast Guard suspends search for missing Lake Pontchartrain boater Billy Coile
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The US Coast Guard late Monday night (Jan. 9) suspended its search of Lake Pontchartrain for a missing boater from Mandeville.
Coast Guard crews spent approximately 16 hours searching more than 230 nautical square miles for 44-year-old Billy Coile, who borrowed a boat from a friend to go fishing on Saturday, but never returned. The unoccupied boat was found Sunday, floating under the Causeway Bridge near mile marker 23.
“Making the decision to suspend a search-and-rescue case is never an easy one and it’s only made after careful consideration of factors involved in each case,” said Lt. Cmdr. Lauren Keefe, Sector New Orleans search and rescue mission coordinator. “We offer our deepest sympathies to the family during this difficult time.”
Announcement of the Coast Guard’s search suspension came Monday at 10:10 p.m.
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Along with Coast Guard Station New Orleans and Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans, teams from the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries participated in the search.
An elite group of dark water divers joined the search Tuesday afternoon.
Family members have launched a GoFundMe to help cover the costs of hiring rescue teams to continue search efforts.
A rosary service for Coile will be held Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Mary Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Mandeville.
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