Man dies in boating accident on Ouachita

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 6, 2001

JONESVILLE , La.- A pleasure cruise on the Ouachita River this weekend turned deadly for a Harrisonburg man when he was thrown from his boat and struck by the propeller.

Craig Mayo, age unknown, was pronounced dead on the scene. An autopsy will determine whether he drowned or died from trauma wounds inflicted by the boat’s propeller, said Catahoula Parish Sheriff Ronnie Book.

Book said Mayo and three other passengers were pleasure cruising in an outboard motor fishing boat about 4 p.m. Saturday when the boat turned suddenly, throwing all four into the river.

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The three other passengers quickly climbed back into the boat, but Mayo was caught by the motor and was unconscious when the others pulled him back into the boat and returned to shore for help. Book said it is difficult to know whether high river levels or the swift current caused the accident, but there was much debris in the water. Alcohol is not suspected to be involved in the accident.

Catahoula Parish received eight inches of rain between Wednesday and Saturday, Book said.

Several areas of the parish are still flooded, including Ratcliffe Road where residents were evacuated Saturday.