Release Date: 09/27/2005

The Department of Wildlife & Fisheries is directing anyone wishing to volunteer the services of their own personal watercraft to call the departments headquarters in Baton Rouge before proceeding to the rescue area.

Right now we are utilizing our professional resources.  Once those are exhausted, we will call volunteers as needed, when needed, said LDWF Secretary Dwight Landreneau.  LDWF is coordinating the volunteer boat effort for Hurricane Katrina victims and must determine if the boats offered for rescue service meet the needs of the rescue mission underway. The phone numbers to call for volunteers with boats are 225-765-2706 or 1-800-256-2749, ext. 0. Those phone lines will be answered from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays.

Volunteers must be able to transport and operate their own boats, have provisions for three days including fuel, food, water and bedding and be able-bodied, capable of lifting 100 pounds. Volunteers will need to provide name, address and phone number along with a description of the watercraft when they call in. Large bateaus, pontoon barges or any type of flat boat are most needed.

LDWF will contact volunteers when the need for their boat is determined, including location and type of duty required.  Volunteers should not enter any rescue area without authorization.

EDITORS: For more information, call Bo Boehringer, Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries, ph. 225-938-6391.