EXCLUSIVE: Two Fishermen Found Dead in the Mississippi River

Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 6:11pm

With their boats filled to the brim with shad, four fisherman from Krots Springs were ready to head home. But only one was lucky enough to make it.

"The weather got bad and mother nature got 'em."

Jason Snyder was alone in the smaller of the two skiffs. His half-brother and two partners were in the other. Realizing the river's current was too strong for his boat, he informed the others he was turning around.

"Told them billage pump is not working i'm taking on water and they kept continuing on their path."

Snyder's boat stayed afloat long enough for him to make it back to shore. Hearing their motor still running in the distance, he called to let them know he was safe, but got no answer.

"By contacting them I figured they'd come rescue me."

Little did he know that two days later.

"Just got too far out got in the same situation I was in and he couldn't make it back."

He would be leading a search to recover their bodies. The boat's captain 34-year-old Michael O'Connor and his deckhand, 31-year old Nolten Sittig were both found dead on the side of the river.

"We're looking for my little brothers body."

Local agencies from all over have joined Snyder's effort searching for any sign of his half-brother 27-year-old Mack Kempe. The Sheriff of Pointe Coupee Parish Bud Torres says it's unlikely he would have been able to survive swimming in 38 degree water.

"We're hopeful but what were trying to do is recover the body so the family can have closure," said Torres.

Authorities confirmed both of the men found dead had their life jackets on.