Crews rescue missing family that abandoned boat due to fire

Published: Mar. 24, 2014 at 2:35 PM CDT
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TERREBONNE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Authorities said search crews found a family reported missing after the four members abandoned their boat due to a fire.

The St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office reported the Orlando family was rescued Saturday night and all four members were fine. They were discovered in a small houseboat just before 10 p.m.

Deputies said Peter and Jennifer Orlando, along with their 15-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son, left the Berwick Boat Landing around 9 a.m. Saturday. The family was headed for the Halters Island area in Terrebonne Parish.

When the Orlandos didn't return to the boat landing as expected, they were reported missing around 6:15 p.m. Sunday Authorities added calls to their cell phones went straight to voicemail.

Several agencies set out to find the missing family and members of the SMPSO Marine Division reported spotting their boat in Pellegrin Cut across Fourleague Bay from Halters Island. They then found the family in a nearby small anchored houseboat. Everyone was in good health.

Deputies reported the family's boat motor caught fire and Peter Orlando was able to put it out with a fire extinguisher. They said he then used his trolling motor to get the family to land, where they found the houseboat and took shelter inside.

The St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office, Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's Office, US Coast Guard and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries were involved in the search.

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