Two people are presumed dead after a helicopter crashed Friday in a south Lafourche marsh, according to authorities.
Local authorities were notified of the crash before noon by a citizen who reported seeing the aircraft lose altitude and then saw a "big splash of mud," Lafourche Parish President Archie Chaisson said during a news conference Friday evening.
"It appears at this time that there are no survivors," Chaisson said.
The helicopter was occupied by a pilot and a passenger, he said.
Most of the helicopter is submerged in the marsh, just off the Pointe-aux-Chenes Reserve, he said.
RLC, the helicopter's owner, is working with local and federal agencies to recover the wreckage and find the bodies of the two presumed dead. Their bodies are assumed to be underneath the waterline, Chaisson said.
"Those next-of-kin notifications are happening at this time, so we are not ready to release any names," he said, "and we will allow the company to do that."
He anticipates the names may be released sometime Saturday morning.
"I just ask all of us to join in prayer for the family members of the pilot and the crew. It's going to be a tough night for them as they realize the loss of a loved one. It's never easy to make those calls, and our prayers are with the families as they start the grieving process," Chaisson said.
When describing the scene, Chaisson said the helicopter appeared to have nosedived and then sunk into the mud, adding that little of the aircraft was above the waterline. He said there is a small debris field about 150 yards away.
Asked if the aircraft had made any kind of distress signal, Chaisson said "there was no kind of beacon or anything that went off." Chaisson said the helicopter's signal was eventually lost and that the last location was used to help find the wreckage, which was located about 2:45 p.m. Friday.
View of the private boat launch where responding agencies are coordinating the search for the helicopter that reportedly crashed in the marsh on the west side of Lafourche Parish. https://t.co/TLittAgvj9 pic.twitter.com/NYC5omSgZw
— Brennan Matherne (@BrennanMatherne) January 14, 2022
This article originally appeared on The Courier: Helicopter crash reported in south Lafourche