UPDATE: Jan 16, 2023 — The STPSO Marine Division issued the following statement:
Members of the STPSO Marine Division located the body of missing boater, Billy Coile, Monday (Jan 16) afternoon approximately 3/4 of a mile offshore near Green Point.
The body has been turned over to the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office, who will make a determination on the cause and manner of death.
Sheriff Randy Smith offered his condolences to Coile’s family and his sincere appreciation to the STPSO Marine Division, the STPSO Dive Team, Wildlife and Fisheries and the countless volunteers who never gave up, searching from daylight to dark and using every resource available, every day for more than a week, to bring closure to the family.
Angler, Billy Coile, borrowed a friends boat to go fly fishing on Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana, his boat was found Saturday night but he has not been located. The Coast Guard searched Saturday night into Monday morning and suspended search Monday afternoon. Since then volunteers and local search and rescue teams have been deployed to find the missing angler.
The family setup a GoFundMe this week to help pay the search teams and fill boats up with gas for volunteers.
The Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries heads up the search efforts and are being assisted by the St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office.
“There was an app on his phone, and the last time that it pinged, or gave his location, was around 6:30 pm on Saturday night,” Lt. Joel Cromp said. “So, that’s kind of what we’re working off of there. In between where that ping was and the location where his boat was found.”
The President of SELA Underwater Search and Recover, Mark Michaud, came out Tuesday to aid the volunteers and civilians that showed up to help with search and rescue/recovery efforts.
“We’re going to go run the area to see if K9 Mercy can alert to something,” Michaud said.
Here is the initial release from the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Marine Division:
The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Marine Division spent much of Sunday (Jan. 8) searching the waters of Lake Pontchartrain for a missing boater.
At approximately 8:30 a.m. Sunday the Causeway Police Department contacted the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office after a 12-14 foot Boston Whaler boat was found floating under the bridge near the 23-mile marker. The boat was unoccupied.
The registered owner of the boat told deputies a friend, 44-year-old “Billy” Coile of Mandeville, had borrowed the boat to go fishing Saturday (Jan. 7) afternoon. His pickup was located Sunday morning at the Mandeville Harbor.
Deputies with the STPSO Marine Division, with the assistance of the U.S. Coast Guard and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, searched the area of the lake between the Mandeville shore and the Causeway bridge until dark Sunday.
The search will resume at daylight on Monday (Jan. 9) morning.
Here are a few more articles about the missing angler search: