Picayune, Miss., man drowns in Louisiana after falling from dock

Published 12:13 am Sunday, February 24, 2008

An unidentified Picayune, Miss., man has drowned after falling from a dock at Bonfouca Marina near Bayou Liberty.

The man has not been identified by St. Tammany Parish sheriff’s deputies.

Witnesses say attempts to rescue the man Friday appeared to be hampered by problems reaching emergency services.

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Harbormaster Susan Giroir and Barbara Butler jumped into the water to rescue the man after hearing him fall from the dock.

Another witness, Josephine Long, said she tried to call 911 on her cell phone repeatedly, but reached dispatchers in New Orleans. The connection was cut when dispatchers tried to transfer her to St. Tammany Parish emergency officials.

Giroir and Butler said the man was still alive when they reached him, but he had a gash on the back of his head and they were not able to lift him out of the water until emergency personnel arrived a half-hour or more later.