Shrimper lucky to be alive after twister sinks boat
Whitney Plaisance Sr. had been shrimping in Grand Isle last week and was not having much success. When the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries closed all shrimping in the area due to the oil spill, Plaisance decided to head back to Pier 90.
It was to be a three-hour trip that would take him up the Barataria Seaway, through Lake Salvador and Lake Cataouatche, into Sellers Canal and finally to Pier 90. Plaisance almost didn’t make it.
“I left Grand Isle around 1 p.m. by myself and the weather was pretty - there was a light wind, no clouds and very little waves,” Plaisance said. “When I was in Lake Cataouatche at 4:30 p.m., I noticed a large thunderstorm ahead of me. The wind had picked up a lot.”
Because of the high winds, the water had gotten rough by the time Plaisance reached the mouth of Sellers Canal. Still, he figured he could make it to Pier 90 before the bad weather hit.
“All of a sudden a big blast of cold air hit, and it felt like someone opened a freezer door,” Plaisance said. “The wind picked up the front of my 27-foot boat like a toy. The boat turned to the left and was put on its side and then quickly sank.”
Plaisance, who was wearing a life jacket, was forced into the water. To avoid being struck by lightning, he decided to stay with his boat until the storm moved on.
That took 30 minutes.
“I then swam to the bank and walked on the levee back to Highway 90,” he said. “When I reached Pier 90, I called my wife to pick me up.”
Pier 90’s harbor master knows just how lucky Plaisance is to be alive. He noticed a strong thunderstorm developing at 4:30 p.m. and went outside to check on boaters.
“A big gust of wind came up and hail the size of golf balls fell briefly with a lot of ran,” he said. “I could see rotation in the clouds and realized it was a small twister.”
Before Plaisance left for the day, he and his friends placed three blinking lights on the partially sunken vessel to alert boaters.
By sundown, everyone was safe and back home.
The next morning, Plaisance and some friends returned to try to recover the 27-foot Lafitte skiff.
“I know the motor will be fine, but all of the electronic equipment is ruined,” Plaisance said.
Subscribe Today and Save!!!
St. Charles Herald-Guide is an award-winning newspaper that covers all aspects of St. Charles Parish - from schools and parish government news to social events, features on our local residents and sports.
Order your subscription today!
Destrehan resident Bruce Bourgeois Jr., who is accused of stabbing his live-in...
After only one season, Boutte-resident Kip Benoit’s reality TV series about hunting...
The Hahnville Tigers left everything they had out on the field, but it was not...
The Krewe of Zeus will hold a public meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 30 to gather...
In only his second game as a starter, Destrehan sophomore quarterback Marquise...
After nearly 90 years in business, during which time only one family has owned and...
It's All About You Interiors will help you turn your dream home into reality! At The Potting Shed Florist it is our mission to bring life and joy through the use of flowers and gardens!
30 hazardous trees removed from popular Luling park - 634 views
Luling’s Rathborne Park remains closed until Saturday, Sept. 13 while St. Charles Parish removes 30 trees in the area that are considered a safety hazard.