Authorities narrow down possibilities in Jackson County boating - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Authorities narrow down possibilities in Jackson County boating deaths

Lieutenant Delcambre the safest life vest is the type two. (Photo source: WLOX News) Lieutenant Delcambre the safest life vest is the type two. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Wearing a life jacket could be a fatal mistake for even the most experienced boaters. (Photo source: WLOX News) Wearing a life jacket could be a fatal mistake for even the most experienced boaters. (Photo source: WLOX News)
JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

Any activity on the water comes with risks, and Lieutenant Barry Delcambre, with Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, says that no one is immune to accidents while boating.

What caused two men to disappear while boating on Wednesday, only to be found dead the next day in a Jackson County marsh, remains a mystery. However, investigators are narrowing it down.

"It was a cooler morning, so the water temperature was a factor," said Delcambre.

According to Delcambre, not only was there a risk of hypothermia, there was also a risk of collision with objects because of the low water level.

"Of course when that happens, you come to a sudden stop and get ejected from the boat," said Delcambre.

According to Delcambre, Screano Hilton, 69, and Butch Moran, 72, were not wearing life vests; something he says could be a fatal mistake for any boater — regardless of age or boating conditions. 

Delcambre says not only should everyone wear a life jacket, but they should also achieve a certain skill level before stepping onto a boat.

"If you're going to be on the water you need to know how to swim," said Delcambre.

Avid boater, Bill Lee agreed with that advice. Lee enjoys taking his daughter and grandchildren out on the water from time to time, but not before making sure they are safe and secure in their life jackets. 

"Sometimes logs will be floating in the river out a here a lot, so you have to be mindful of that," said Lee, "Oncoming boats, you have be mindful of because of the waves. And you want to always let your front of the boat go towards the front of the waves," said Lee.

Lee also says he never downplays the importance of a life jacket, which are just as important on a boat as seatbelts in cars.

"It's for your protection. Sure, it might be a little restrictive, but it's better to be protected," added Lee.

According to Lieutenant Delcambre, the safest life vest is the type two. This is the common type that usually comes in an orange color and only covers your chest, which he says will keep you floating face-up if you fall in.

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