PASCAGOULA – (AP) Authorities are still investigating the death of a Pascagoula man who fell off a commercial bait boat south of Horn Island.
Melissa Scallan, spokeswoman for the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, says 44-year-old Jeffery “Chickenwing” Lee was one of 12 people on a 45-foot commercial boat from CC’s Live Bait of Pascagoula.
Company employees had taken the boat to Horn Island on Thursday for an Independence Day celebration. Lee had worked for the company as a deck hand for about a year.
The boat was leaving Horn Island for Bayou Cassotte about 7:30 p.m. when it appeared Lee lost his footing and fell off the bait boat, then hit his head on a skiff that was being pulled behind the vessel.
Scallan says passengers jumped into the water and pulled Lee back aboard, but he lost consciousness and died.
Lee was reportedly not wearing a life jacket, but passengers said those onboard had been drinking.
Coroner Vicki Broadus said an autopsy will not be performed, but a toxicology test will be performed as a standard procedure.
The accident is being investigated by the Coast Guard and the National Park Service.
Funeral services for Lee were Monday, July 8.