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Search for missing boater resumes Wednesday morning

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PRAIRIEVILLE - Not long after authorities said they were shifting search efforts for a missing boater in Bayou Manchac to a recovery effort instead, they announced the endeavor was ending for the night.

Around 8 p.m., the search parties left and hopes were falling about the fate of Allen Fitzgerald.

A spokesperson for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries told News 2's Brett Buffington that boats were dragging the bayou looking for Fitzgerald of Prairieville. 

LDWF said Fitzgerald went missing Monday evening when his boat sank. He and another man had taken the boat out into Bayou Manchac toward the Amite River when more strong storms moved through the area, forcing them to take shelter under a bridge.

The passenger told authorities the boat started taking on water and he was able to jump in the water, but didn't see what happened to Fitzgerald who was in the back of the boat. The other man swam to shore and found a house where he could call 911.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office and the St. Amant Fire Department started their search Monday night around 10 p.m. They said the cluttered river bed, swift current, and high water after Monday's storms were making progress difficult.

"If there was anything you needed; a ride, some food, some money, it didn't matter, Allen, he'd give it to you and he didn't care who you were," Christopher Fontenot, a friend of the missing boater said.

The recovery effort resumes Wednesday morning.

Image: Waymarking

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