A 58-year-old Port Allen man drowned in Belle River over the Labor Day weekend, according to the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office. 

Just before 4 p.m. last Saturday, the Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call reporting a possible drowning in Belle River near Bayou Magazille and responded.

Deputies responded to the call and were told that Donald T. Matherne was swimming with a group of friends near their party barge when they noticed he did not surface. The initial attempts to locate him were fruitless.

With assistance from deputies with the Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office, the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to assist St. Martin’s deputies and began a recovery effort.

Deputies with the St. Mary Parish Marine Patrol Division recovered Matherne’s body around 8:30 p.m.

“Thank you to all the agencies and personnel who assisted with the recovery efforts,” said Maj. Ginny Higgins, public information officer with the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office. “Your assistance was greatly appreciated.”

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