*Amended-2nd Annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" Slated for May 12*

Release Date: 04/19/2012

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will be hosting the second annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on May 12 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at eight different locations across the state.

During Boating Education Lagniappe Day, LDWF will provide instructors for the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course, NASBLA boating education certification, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public.

Interested participants must register by visiting www.wlf.louisiana.gov/lagniappeday and calling the contact number listed for the chosen class.  LDWF urges the public to register quickly as most places have limited spaces available and registration is on a first come first serve basis.

At last year’s Boating Education Lagniappe Day LDWF certified 264 boaters.

"We want to make this an annual event as we heard nothing but positive feedback from the participants in last year’s lagniappe day,” said LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the State's Boating Law Administrator.  "Boating Education Lagniappe Day is the perfect opportunity for those in need of a boating education certification and those that want to learn about boating safety.  We want to make the day fun and educational at the same time and everything will be offered completely free."

Anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 must complete a NASBLA approved boating education course and carry proof of completion to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.

The course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements.  The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more.  Completion of the course will result in the student being issued a vessel operators certification card.

Studies have shown that states with a mandatory boating education program have fewer boating incidents that result in fatalities than states that have no boating education program.  States with a boating education program for more than 20 years had 3.67 fatalities per 100,000 registered boats, and states with no boating education program had 6.61 fatalities per 100,000 boats.

LDWF initiated the state's boating education program in 2003 and has certified approximately 48,000 boaters during that time.

"Boating education has been a proven method to reduce fatalities on the water over time," said Capt. Rachel Zechenelly, LDWF's Boating Safety Coordinator.  "Since more and more of the boating public will fall into the mandatory age for certification, we will eventually reach a point where everyone that wants to boat in this state will have their boating education certificate making the waterways more enjoyable and safer."

Sponsors for the Boating Education Lagniappe Day are the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Wal-Mart, Cabela's, Holiday Inn, Coca Cola, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, St. Landry Lumber Company, Austin’s Outdoors of Opelousas and Mayor Randy Roach’s Office of Lake Charles.

Below is the list of class locations known at this time and the registration contact information:

Bossier City
Academy Sports and Outdoors
2801 Beene Blvd.
Bossier City, LA
Call the Minden Office at 318-371-3049 to register.

West Monroe
Academy Sports and Outdoors
111 Constitution Dr.
West Monroe, LA 71292
Call the Monroe Office at 318-362-3102 to register.

Alexandria
Academy Sports and Outdoors
3205 S. MacArthur Dr.
Alexandria, LA 71301
Call the Pineville Office at 318-487-5634 to register.

Opelousas
St. Landry Lumber Company
207 North Railroad Ave.
Opelousas, LA 70570
Call the Opelousas Office at 337-948-0257 to register.

Lake Charles
Lake Charles Civic Center
900 Lakeshore Dr.
3rd Floor
Lake Charles, LA 70602
Call the Lake Charles Office at 337-491-2580 or 337-491-2588 to register.

Larose
Larose Civic Center
307 East 5th St
Larose, LA 70373
Call the Thibodaux Office at 985-447-0821 to register.

Gonzales
Cabela's
2200 W. Cabela's Parkway
Gonzales, LA 70737
Call the Baton Rouge Office at 225-765-2999 to register.

Kenner
Academy Sports and Outdoors
1000 West Esplanade Blvd.
Kenner, LA 70065
Call the New Orleans Office at 504-284-2023 to register.

For more information on regulations or boating safety, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating.  For more information on boating education courses, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

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