Body of Pineville boater recovered in Vernon Lake

Published 1:55 pm Monday, January 29, 2024

By Emily Burleigh

The body of Pineville man Derrick Green, 42, was recovered in Vernon Lake on Sunday afternoon near Anacoco, according to the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office.

At about 9:38 a.m. on Sunday, VPSO said it was notified by the Vernon Parish E911 Office of a potential drowning in the lake near Anacoco following a single-vessel incident. Sheriff John “Sam” Craft told the American Press Green was in a boat with two minors when he fell out.

Craft said the oldest minor alerted Green’s friend, who was also on the lake, and he arrived at the location of the incident “within minutes” and dropped a pin on his mobile phone in the location where Green fell into the water prior to the arrival of law enforcement.

VPSO was the first law enforcement office to respond and arrived on the scene within 30 minutes with several boats, followed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries; LDWF spearheaded the search since the incident occurred in a waterway.

The search also received help from Alexandria Dive and Rescue, the dive team and deputies from the Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office and local volunteers with “very sophisticated sonar equipment” to locate Green’s body.

Green’s body was recovered “very, very close” to the location of the single-vessel incident.

Craft thanked the agencies that provided assistance with the investigation, and said they were united by one mission.

“Everyone cooperated well together with just one ultimate goal, to make that recovery as quickly as possible.”

Green was not wearing a life jacket when he fell into the water and did not know how to swim, Craft said.

“If he’d have had that life jacket on and fell in, it would have kept afloat until he had gotten back to the boat. That life jacket would have made a difference.”