Pilot who spent 12 hours floating in MS River after crash released from hospital
ST. FRANCISVILLE - A pilot who was found floating in the Mississippi River for 12 hours after his helicopter crashed was released from a Baton Rouge hospital Saturday.
The West Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office said the man was seen holding on to a propane bottle, floating in the river near the mouth of Bayou Sara Friday evening. Deputies launched a boat and rescued him.
Authorities later identified the pilot as Victor Guillory, 62, of Lafayette.
Deputies said Guillory explained that he was flying a Robinson R-44 helicopter from Lafayette and that the helicopter "went down in the river" about 4:45 a.m. Friday, approximately 45 minutes after leaving the Lafayette area.
He confirmed that he was the only one in the aircraft when it crashed.
“He is extremely lucky to have survived the crash, and that he went down in an area that is near a public access point to the river,’” Sheriff Brian Spillman said. “He was in the water over 12 hours. I don’t think he could have lasted much longer.”
Guillory was transported to a Baton Rouge hospital suffering from exposure and a possible diabetic condition. He was released from the hospital Saturday.
The sheriff's office said it was spending Saturday searching for the downed aircraft using a helicopter, drone and boat.
As of Saturday afternoon, the aircraft had yet to be located.