'McGyver' tactics used to survive freezing swamp
PIERRE PART - Rescuers believe a man who was stranded in the Atchafalaya Basin for more than 24 hours used clever thinking to survive the elements.
"I was scared for his life," the coordinator of the Assumption Parish Search and Rescue team, Scott Domingue, said.
"It was probably 19 degrees."
The 22-year-old LSU student, who asked to remain anonymous, went hog hunting with a friend Monday. During the hunt, the two got separated and the man became stranded in the swamp.
"His buddy reported him missing around five o'clock Monday evening," Deputy Robert Martin said.
Rescue crews found the man alive on top of a piping platform around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.
"He stuffed his pants with insulation off of the platform, and he actually made himself shoes to keep himself warm," Domingue said. "Another night at this temperature, it would have probably been a bad turnout."
The man wrapped his feet with a plastic material and then covered them with rubber to create makeshift shoes. He was found two miles from where he was reported missing.
"He just kept saying, 'help me, please help me.' We heard him clear as day," Domingue said. "It's a good feeling to actually know that you can help someone."