Child dies in boat accident

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 6, 2001

RESERVE – A Reserve 4-year-old died Saturday after the boat he and his father were in was swamped, and the child was thrown from the boat. Challing Eugene Albert LeBlanc, who was an avid swimmer and frequently swam in Lake Maurepas where his parents have a camp, was found several hours later in the lake by searchers with the U.S. Coast Guard. The child was in a 15-foot flat-bottom boat with Stephen LeBlanc, his father, when the boat was swamped near the southwest edge of the lake around 4 p.m., and the boy was thrown into the water. After searching for three hours, the father notified the Coast Guard and the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. At about 8:30 p.m., the Coast Guard’s helicopter spotted a life preserver in the water, and a Wildlife and Fisheries boat arrived to find that the boy was dead. His body was floating near the life preserver. Services for LeBlanc are today from 9 a.m. to noon in the chapel of Millet-Guidry Funeral Home in LaPlace. A mass will follow at St. Peter’s Catholic Church. Interment will take place at St. Peter’s cemetery. An account to defray funeral and other expenses has been set up. Donations accepted at any Hibernia Bank branch.