Boating

Louisiana Safe Boating Week Set For May 19-25

Release Date: 05/17/2012

Louisiana is once again participating in the national "Safe Boating Week" that is scheduled for May 19-25 and signifies the beginning of the spring and summer boating season.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will again be reminding all boaters to be safe, responsible and knowledgeable while on the water during this safe boating week.  Safe Boating Week is a time for all boaters to inspect their vessels to ensure that all required safety equipment is on board and that vessels are in good working condition.

LDWF Enforcement Division agents will be out in full force as always during the week to perform boating safety checks and driving or operating a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) patrols.  Each vessel should have enough personal flotation devices (PFD) on board for all occupants and a sober operator.

"Personal flotation devices are made to be worn and not sit in a vessel storage compartment.  Even if you consider yourself to be a strong swimmer, we (LDWF) still encourage everyone on a boat to wear a personal flotation device whenever the boat is in motion," said LDWF Boating Safety Officer Capt. Rachel Zechenelly.  “A personal flotation device on a boat should be treated the same as a seatbelt in a car, because they are both easy to use and are proven to save lives."

LDWF boating incident statistics indicate that 19 out of the 36 boating fatalities in 2011 were drownings that could have been prevented if the person was wearing a PFD.  LDWF regulations state that anyone 16 years of age and younger must wear a PFD while underway in vessels less than 26 foot long.  For more boating and PFD regulations, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating.

Agents issued 108 DWIs on the water last year to operators of vessels.  Alcohol consumption impairs a boater's judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  Alcohol also increases fatigue and susceptibility to hypothermia.  Intensifying the effects of alcohol are sun, wind, noise, vibration and movement, which are all common to boating activities.

The penalties for DWI on the water are the same as on the road.  Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver's license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.  Also, each offense of operating a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated counts toward the total number of DWI crimes whether they happened on the water or road.

In Louisiana a DWI can be issued to anyone operating a moving vessel or vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.  First offense DWI on the water or on the road carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Second offense DWI brings a $750 to $1,000 fine and between 30 days and six months in jail.  Third offense DWI carries a $5,000 fine and between one and five years in jail.  Again, every DWI offense is also subject to a suspension of driving a vehicle and operating a boat privileges.

"One of the best parts of our job is to see people utilize Louisiana's waterways for recreation in accordance to the boating safety regulations and return home safely to loved ones.  However, the worst part of our job is to search for deceased bodies and notify family members of their loss," said LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the State Boating Law Administrator.  "The two ways to make boating safe, fun and a memorable experience is to have a sober operator and to have everyone wear a personal flotation device when the vessel is underway."

LDWF also wants to remind anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 that they are required to successfully complete a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course to operate a motorboat over 10 horsepower.  LDWF offers these classes free of charge statewide.  For a list of courses, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.

*Media - To schedule a boating safety ride along for a story, please contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Video

St. Amant Man Arrested for DWI Following Collision With LDWF Patrol Boat

Release Date: 05/15/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested a St. Amant man for allegedly driving or operating a personal watercraft while intoxicated (DWI) on May 11.

Agents arrested Gary Miller, 43, for third offense DWI, reckless operation of a vessel and operating a watercraft while under a driver’s license suspension.

According to witnesses, on May 6 at about 7:40 p.m. Miller was travelling downstream at a high rate of speed on the Amite River near French Settlement when he collided with an LDWF patrol vessel.

Miller required medical treatment and was released later that same night.  The LDWF agent, Sgt. Randy Lanoux, suffered no injuries.  Miller’s personal watercraft was badly damaged, while the patrol boat suffered minor damage.

On May 11, after LDWF agents received the results of Miller’s blood test that allegedly showed him over the legal alcohol limit, a warrant was obtained for his arrest.

Third offense DWI brings up to a $2,000 and one to five years in jail.  Reckless operation of a vessel carries up to a $200 fine and up to 90 days in jail.  Operating a watercraft while under suspension brings an additional one year suspension of his driving privileges.

Agents participating in the investigation were Lt. Will Roberts, Sgt. Todd Lewis, Sgt. Dennis Bueche, Senior Agent Clay Marquez and Senior Agent Hal Bridges.

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

229 Boaters Certified During "Boating Education Lagniappe Day"

Release Date: 05/15/2012

229 Boaters Certified During "Boating Education Lagniappe Day"

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) certified 229 boaters statewide after their second "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on May 12.

Boating Education Lagniappe Day ran from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at eight locations across the state and consisted of the National Association of Safe Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public.

"We are extremely pleased with the turnout as more than 200 boaters will now be safer when boating on Louisiana waterways," said LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the State's Boating Law Administrator.  "We wanted to make this day full of fun and still be educational at the same time and I feel we accomplished both goals."

The NASBLA safe boating certification is mandatory for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 who wants to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.

The NASBLA approved 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.  Each student received that completed the course was issued a vessel operators certification card.

Sponsors for each location provided a free lunch, door prizes and giveaways such as sports bags, cups, fishing line, water bottles and sunscreen.

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

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

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 over 48,000 boaters during that time.

Below is the list of the class locations from this past weekend:

Bossier City
Academy Sports and Outdoors
2801 Beene Blvd.
Bossier City, LA

West Monroe
Academy Sports and Outdoors
111 Constitution Dr.
West Monroe, LA 71292

Alexandria
Academy Sports and Outdoors
3205 S. MacArthur Dr.
Alexandria, LA 71301

Opelousas
St. Landry Lumber Company
207 North Railroad Ave.
Opelousas, LA 70570

Lake Charles
Lake Charles Civic Center
900 Lakeshore Dr.
Lake Charles, LA 70602

Larose
Larose Civic Center
307 East 5th St
Larose, LA 70373

Gonzales
Cabela's
2200 W. Cabela's Parkway
Gonzales, LA 70737

Kenner
Academy Sports and Outdoors
1000 West Esplanade Blvd.
Kenner, LA 70065

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

LDWF to Hold Summer Day Camps in Baton Rouge

Release Date: 05/11/2012

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is sponsoring two summer day camps for children 12 to 16 years old at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center in Baton Rouge this summer.

The camps will be held from June 25-29 and again from July 23-27.  Each camp is completely free of charge and will allow participants to receive their official boater and hunter education certifications.

LDWF will also offer a fish identification class, fishing and canoeing in the ponds at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center, skeet shooting, and other outdoor related classes and activities.

"Last year’s first ever summer camp proved so successful that we wanted to do two this year.  These camps provide a lot of time for learning classroom material that the children then get a chance to utilize with hands on activities immediately outside later that same day,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “For a week, parents have the chance to let their kids become sportsmen and women in a safe, supervised environment.”

The Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation are providing a daily lunch free of charge for the five-day summer camps.  Cabela's in Gonzales also donated rod and reel combo sets for each child that they can take home at the end of the camp.

The camps are open to 25 children per camp who have not completed a boater or hunter education certificate.

To register for the camps, parents must fill out the online application located at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/summerdaycamp2012 by May 25.  Parents must fill out a separate application for each child they wish to register and may only register their child for one of the camps.

Since the main goal of these camps is to introduce and teach kids about the outdoors, LDWF will choose the 25 kids for each camp based on the child’s lack of experience with fishing, boating and hunting.  LDWF will notify parents by either email or phone if their child has been selected for the camps.

“We want to teach children how much fun and exciting it can be by spending time outside enjoying all that Louisiana has to offer,” said Secretary Barham.  “These camps also get the kids out of the house away from their video games and computers for a week during their summer break.  They will catch some fish, paddle canoes and shoot skeet and for some this might be their first time ever doing any of these activities.”

Parents with children that have been selected for either camp, must drop off their child at the Waddill Outdoor Education Center located at 4142 North Flannery Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70814 between 7 and 8 a.m., and then pick their child up between 4 and 5 p.m. each day.  Attendance every day of the week is mandatory in order to receive the boating and hunting education certifications.

The boating education course is mandatory for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 and proof of completion of the course is necessary 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.

The hunter education course is mandatory for anyone born on or after Sept. 1, 1969, who plans on purchasing a hunting license.  The hunter education curriculum includes sections on ethics and responsibility, wildlife management, firearms and ammunition, safety in the field, wildlife identification and wildlife conservation.  The major objectives of the hunter education programs are to reduce the number of hunting accidents, improve the image of hunting through ethical and responsible conduct and promote the shooting sports.

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

Body of Missing Baton Rouge Man Recovered in Lake Maurepas

Release Date: 05/07/2012

 

Search crews found the deceased body of a missing Baton Rouge man on Lake Maurepas shortly after 7:30 this morning, May 7.

Taylor Russell, 26, was reported missing around 6:30 p.m. on May 5.  Search crews from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division, Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Coast Guard responded within minutes to the scene.

According to other passengers in the 24-foot ski boat, Russell jumped from the boat while they were travelling across Lake Maurepas.  The passengers said they never saw Russell resurface and called 911 shortly thereafter.

Russell was reported to go into the water in between where the Amite and Blind Rivers feed into Lake Maurepas.  According to the operator of the boat, they were returning from the Blind River to return to where they launched on the Tickfaw River to go home.

Russell’s body was recovered about a half mile from where he was reported to go into the water and his body was turned over to the Livingston Parish Coroner’s Office to determine a cause of death.  The LDWF Enforcement Division will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.

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

Region 4 Boating Course

Date: 
Saturday, June 27, 2015
Address: 

LDWF Region 4 Office
5652 Hwy. 182
Opelousas, LA 70570

City: 
Opelousas
Notes: 

8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Region 3 Boating Course

Date: 
Saturday, January 31, 2015
Address: 

Concordia Parish Training Center
Firing Range Road, Hwy. 15
Ferriday, LA

City: 
Ferriday
Notes: 

9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please call 318-487-5634 to register.

Region 3 Boating Course

Date: 
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Address: 

Concordia Parish Training Center
Firing Range Road, Hwy. 15
Ferriday, LA

City: 
Ferriday
Notes: 

9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please call 318-487-5634 to register.

Region 3 Boating Course

Date: 
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Address: 

Concordia Parish Training Center
Firing Range Road, Hwy. 15
Ferriday, LA

City: 
Ferriday
Notes: 

9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please call 318-487-5634 to register.

Region 3 Boating Course

Date: 
Saturday, September 19, 2015
Address: 

Concordia Parish Training Center
Firing Range Road, Hwy. 15
Ferriday, LA

City: 
Ferriday
Notes: 

9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please call 318-487-5634 to register.

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