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AGENTS RESCUE INJURED BOATER FROM FATAL BOAT CRASH

February 2, 2005

Agents from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division, responding to a fatal boating accident in Lake Fausse Point in Iberia Parish, rescued injured 14-year-old Joshua Leger, of New Iberia on January 23. Joshua’s stepbrother, 30-year-old Galan A. Delcambre of New Iberia, perished in the accident.

On the evening of January 23, Lieutenant Darryl C. Moore and Sergeant Mitch Darby responded to an emergency cell phone call from a boating accident victim, and began a search of Lake Fausse Point. Joshua called to report that he and his brother had sustained serious injuries in the accident. He was unable to give an exact location, and further information was unavailable because the cell phone battery went dead.

Lt. Moore and Sgt. Darby were the first to arrive, and immediately began searching for the accident victims. Because nightfall was fast approaching and the temperature was quickly dropping the agents knew time was of the essence. Due to the constant north wind, the lake level had dropped dramatically, making the search difficult by outboard motorboat. Senior Agent Brian Theriot was called to the area with an airboat to assist in the search.

With nightfall, temperatures approached the freezing mark and agents continued to search the perimeter of the lake by airboat. Due to the low water level and remoteness of the location, the airboat was the only vessel able to conduct the search. A recording of the 911 call was delivered from the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office. Reviewing the tape, it was learned Joshua had referenced their location as near the “R.T. thing”. The agents determined that this was the area of a hunting club that had just changed its name. Lt. Moore and Senior Agent Theriot contacted members of the hunting club and were able to determine a more exact location where the R.T. signs were located.

Using this information, Senior Agent Theriot and Sgt. Darby immediately went to this area. At the same time, coordinates were relayed to an approaching Coast Guard helicopter.

The agents located the accident site within a short time. Joshua had sustained broken bones and other injuries, but his stepbrother had already died as a result of his injuries. Because of the serious injuries, extreme cold temperatures, the possibility of shock and the threat of hypothermia, Darby and Theriot immediately transported Joshua by airboat to the nearest land area accessible by vehicle where Lt. Moore had an ambulance waiting.

The Coast Guard helicopter arrived and hovered overhead providing light for the rescue operation.

Joshua received medical treatment and is expected to make a full recovery.

Agents participating in the search were Lt. Darryl Moore, Sgt. Mitch Darby and Senior Agents Brian Theriot, Dylan Bertrand, Jason Romero and Winston Michelle. The U.S. Coast Guard and deputies with the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office assisted in the search.

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