Members of the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Operations Division, with the assistance of Louisiana
Shawn “Michael” Copling of Pearl River launched his boat around noon on Sunday (May 3, 2020) at Pump Slough. He told family members he was going on a boat ride and when he had not returned by 9 p.m. Sunday, his family contacted the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office and reported him missing.
Members of the STPSO Marine Division and members of the U.S. Coast Guard and Wildlife and Fisheries agents searched through the night and into the morning.
Copling was located shortly after noon on Monday with his boat in a slough off the West Pearl River. He was lost and disoriented and was taken via emergency medical personnel to a local hospital.
“I thank everyone involved who searched for many hours until this man was located and brought to safety,” Sheriff Randy Smith said. “This is a reminder that before heading out in a boat to always tell someone where you are going and when to expect you back.”