BILOXI, MS — Mississippi Department of Marine Resources’ (MDMR) Marine Patrol, with assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard and Bay St. Louis Fire Department, rescued four stranded boaters from Taylor Key in Hancock County early Saturday morning after the 30-foot cuddy cabin boat carrying the four Baton Rouge, La., men ran aground on Taylor Key reef southeast of Bay St. Louis in the Mississippi Sound, seriously injuring two of the passengers. The men had launched from New Orleans and were headed to Biloxi.
MDMR’s Marine Patrol received the call about the boating accident around 2 a.m. Saturday morning from Hancock County dispatch. The boaters had called 911 after the crash but could not report their location because they were carrying no GPS or navigational equipment onboard. The Bay St. Louis Police Department instructed them to shoot a flare to help determine their location.
MDMR Marine Patrol officers Tommy Jennings and Scott Saucier responded, along with the U.S. Coast Guard, and arrived at the scene about 2:25 a.m. after another flare was fired to pinpoint the location of the boaters. When the officers arrived they found the boat half on the reef and half submerged in the water and the four men were on the concrete key wearing life jackets.
Two of the men were brought back to shore at the Washington St. boat ramp in Bay St. Louis by MDMR Marine Patrol and the two seriously injured men were transported on the U.S. Coast Guard boat with assistance from a Bay St. Louis Fire department EMT. MDMR Marine Patrol had gone back to shore to pick up the Bay St. Louis fireman and a backboard, to help rescue one of the injured men.
Two of the men sustained minor injuries. The other two men were more seriously injured and transported by AMR to Memorial Hospital at Gulfport for treatment.