Captain drowns after falling from boat near his tow in Louisiana bayou


A captain drowned in a Louisiana bayou after falling from a small boat on which he had transited from a tug and barge.

Arthur Scott Anderson, 54, was found dead near the surface-drive boat. Anderson, from Labadieville in Assumption Parish, drowned in a bayou in southwestern Terrebonne Parish on March 8, according to the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office (TPSO).

Anderson’s tug and barge are owned by K&K Marine LLC of Amelia, La. The TPSO received a phone call at 0100 from workers on a barge in Palmetto Bayou, about a mile east of the Atchafalaya River’s mouth. The employees said Anderson was missing.

The TPSO was told that Anderson had left the commercial vessels and was riding in a separate smaller boat. The smaller boat became stuck in a patch of mud, and Anderson fell into the bayou. Barge employees located Anderson’s body about 10 feet from the smaller boat, before the TPSO’s water patrol and detectives arrived.

TPSO Chief of Detectives Malcolm Wolfe said parish officials aren’t entirely sure where the victim was found.

“Employees of the company located Anderson, and he was transported back to the bank — where detectives met them,” Wolfe said in late March. “The investigation was forwarded to the USCG.”

Anderson had been working on a private levee-digging project for K&K Marine in a duck hunting area. He was riding on a Gator-Tail surface-drive boat after he had completed his work shift, according to Keith Kraemer, the company’s president.

“The Gator-Tail may have lurched, knocking him off the boat,” he said. “He was found face-down in 3 feet of water with a cut above his eye when our employees pulled him out.”  

Gator-Tail Outboards is a boatbuilder in Loreauville, La.

Based on an autopsy done March 8, the preliminary ruling on the cause of death was asphyxiation from muddy water. Foul play is not suspected.

“Arthur Anderson worked for us for a year and a half and was a very reliable, valued employee, who never said no,” Kraemer said. “We will have a difficult time replacing him.”

Anderson, who loved to fish, had moved to Louisiana from Bay County, Fla., Kraemer said.

By Professional Mariner Staff