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Search for missing South American dignitary ends happily at Louisiana’s Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve

Post by Craig Hill / The News Tribune on May 26, 2011 at 7:32 am with No Comments »
May 26, 2011 8:40 am

From the National Park Service:


Dr. Francisco Piedrahita was found yesterday afternoon in the park’s Barataria Preserve unit following an intensive four-day-long interagency search. He was spotted from a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Department helicopter that was conducting a media overflight and a ground team was dispatched to his location. Piedrahita was found leaning against a tree approximately 300 yards off of a park trail – extremely dehydrated but coherent and in fairly good shape. – and was transported to a waiting ambulance by ATV. Family members, who had been holding vigil in the park, greeted him to the sounds of shouts of joy from over 100 watching rescuers. Piedrahita was then taken to a local hospital for treatment. The search began late in the day on Saturday, May 21st, and concluded at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 25th. Search teams contended with extremely hot and humid conditions and covered terrain dominated by dense, tropical vegetation. The Intermountain All Hazard IMT managed the incident for the National Park Service and was also part of a unified command established with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Department. The NPS search effort was supported by approximately 75 park staff from 12 parks in 12 states and by the Jefferson and St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Departments, Gulf Coast Search and Rescue, Louisiana Search and Rescue, the National Guard and Jefferson Parish Fire Dept and the Jean Lafitte Volunteer Fire Department.

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