Missing man’s body recovered and identified after boat capsizes in Lake Pontchartrain near Mandeville
Five other boat occupants were rescued after capsizing
MANDEVILLE, La. (WVUE) - A man that was missing after a boat capsized near Mandeville in Lake Pontchartrain on Memorial Day afternoon (May 30) has been recovered and identified.
The body of 33-year-old Kevin Childs of Bell Gardens, Calif., was recovered after authorities searched through the evening, said Ponchatoula’s Darrell Williams, owner of the 31-foot cigarette boat. The St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s office confirmed Childs’ identity Tuesday morning.
Williams said that Childs was visiting the area from California and had never been on a boat before.
Williams said he has no idea what happened, noting that he took the boat out a few weeks ago and it was fine. Today, around 3:30 p.m., he and 5 other friends were out, for not even 15 minutes, going to get some dinner when the back end started to take on water.
Williams said that he got everyone situated with a life jacket except for himself and he held onto the hull of the boat that was still sticking up.
Everyone was floating in the water but Childs did not have the life jacket fastened properly and was struggling and panicking in the rough waters. He slipped out of the jacket and slipped under.
The men had to wait 45 minutes to be rescued. A Good Samaritan noticed Williams waving his T-shirt and took their boat out to rescue them.
Williams said Childs just had a baby two weeks ago and that everyone involved today is just devastated.
Around 3:30 p.m., St. Tammany Marine Division responders were dispatched to the scene, just west of the cabins at Fontainebleau State Park.
Deputies with the Marine Division assisted Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries in the search.
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