Louisiana Man Passes Away in Two-Vessel Collision in Orleans Parish

Release Date: 02/16/2011


Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents responded to a fatal boating crash incident on Tuesday, Feb. 15 in Unknown Pass in Orleans Parish.

LDWF agents along with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) arrived on the scene at 2:30 p.m. of a two vessel collision involving a 20-foot Hydrosport captained by Ralph Grimaldi, 63, of Slidell, and an 18-foot Boston Whaler captained by Scott Jordan, 49, of Pearl River.

The USCG airlifted Grimaldi to the Naval Air Station in Belle Chasse where he was not able to survive his injuries. LDWF agents transported Jordan to Orleans Parish Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel waiting on the shore. EMS personnel then took Jordan to the North Shore Ochsner Hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Grimaldi's vessel was also carrying two passengers who did not receive any major injuries.

LDWF agents are currently investigating the incident. Agents do not suspect alcohol or drugs at this time.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or

L.D.W.F. Investigating Boating Incident in Gulf that Resulted in Four Fatalities

Release Date: 02/13/2011

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries staff and Enforcement Division agents are investigating a boating incident that left four people dead in the Gulf of Mexico on Feb. 12.

The four deceased bodies found in the Gulf were Wayne Dowsey, 61, of Point Clear, Ala., and who was the owner and operator of the vessel; Randy Dowsey, 58, of Fairhope, Ala.; Kerri Burns, 33, of Fairhope, Ala.; and Kenny Mock, 58, of Metairie. The lone survivor was Heath Dowsey, 33, of Fairhope, Ala; who was the son of Randy and nephew of Wayne.

According to Heath, the five left from Venice around 6:30 a.m. for a fishing trip. They left out of the South Pass into the Gulf of Mexico and were about 2 to 3 miles offshore when one of the engines in the twin engine vessel abruptly shut down between 7:30 and 8 a.m.

When checking out the engine, they noticed the back of the boat filling with water, which prompted the operator to turn off the other engine. With both engines turned off, the boat then rapidly filled with water and within minutes the boat was listing to one side according to Heath.

The five were able to grab four life jackets, but were unable to put them on before the boat capsized sending all five into the cold waters of the Gulf. Heath was able to hang on to the rope from the bow of the boat, and the other four were able to hang on to the life jackets and side of the boat. Heath eventually made his way onto the hull of the capsized boat getting himself out of the cold water.

According to Heath, around 1 p.m. an offshore supply vessel located the capsized vessel with Heath on top. The crew boat was able to take Heath into their boat and locate the other four people who had drifted away from the capsized vessel.

Within minutes, an LDWF Office of Fisheries vessel that was in the area doing field work came across the capsized boat and crew boat where the four bodies were still floating lifeless. The LDWF Office of Fisheries Vessel was able to transport the deceased bodies to the U.S. Coast Guard station in Venice. Heath was also transferred to a U.S. Coast Guard vessel for transport to the U.S. Coast Guard station in Venice.

Heath was treated for mild hypothermia by emergency medical workers at the U.S. Coast Guard station. It is unknown at this time if the four people perished from drowning or hypothermia.

The LDWF Enforcement Division will investigate the incident to determine a cause. At this time, LDWF does not suspect drugs or alcohol involvement. The LDWF Enforcement Division and Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office will attempt to recover the capsized vessel for the investigation.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at or 225-354-9517 (Cell) or 225-765-2465 (Work).

L.D.W.F. Boating Safety and Waterways Enforcement Five Year Strategic Plan 2010-2015


As part of the relationship and memorandum of understanding between the State of Louisiana [represented by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division (LDWF/LED)] and The United States [represented by the United States Coast Guard (USCG)] in the conduct of the Boating Safety Programs and in the mutual enforcement of laws relating to boating safety on waters within the concurrent jurisdiction of the State and the United States the LDWF/LED has executed the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division Boating Safety and Waterways Enforcement Five Year Strategic Plan which describes the goals, objectives, and strategies to reduce recreational boating crash incidents and deaths for the years 2010-2016. It will serve as the primary framework for programmatic decision-making, budgeting, and program evaluation. It contains and identifies the need for a strategic plan, a description of Louisiana’s waterways, and processes to achieve our goals.


Over two million people enjoy recreational boating activities on Louisiana waters which are indicated by the 320,000 registered boats in use on a year round basis as boaters enjoy our mild climate. Louisiana's maze of rivers, streams, bayous and lakes account for 7,409 square miles of inland lakes and 40,679 linear miles of flowing rivers and bayous that makes up the State's inland waterway system. Add to this 1,031 square miles of territorial seas, 7,721 miles of tidal shorelines and over 6 million acres of productive coastal estuaries that provide multi-user recreational and commer¬cial activities that impact this State and in some cases the nation. Additionally, Louisiana's waters transport numerous migratory, big game and small game hunters as well as all types of fresh and saltwater fishermen during the months that most states enjoy their winter vacations. Tens of thousands of documented vessels and non-motorized vessels engage in water related activities that increase user diversification and are growing concerns. As well, recreational boating activities have a 1.3 billion dollar economic effect in Louisiana. Recreational boating supports over 15,000 jobs and generates over 80 million dollars in state and local taxes and over 82 million dollars in federal taxes.

Because Louisiana is so wealthy in natural resources (fish, shrimp, oysters, wildlife, neo-tropical birds, etc.) it is common for vessels to serve as platforms for multi-use activities in this State. We must emphasize that boating in Louisiana is a twelve-month activity that has to be continuously monitored and supervised to insure compliance with required safety requirements and for the protection of human life.

LDWF/LED is responsible for providing public safety services on Louisiana’s vast waterways through education and enforcement of criminal statutes. These responsibilities include maintaining and improving public compliance with boating safety laws, investigating all reportable recreational boating fatalities and crash incidents, and enforcing laws restricting the operation of vessels under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and administering the state’s mandatory boating education program for operation of certain motorboats. The LDWF/LED also maintains authority for permitting regattas and other marine events and ensuring compliance with boating safety regulations. LDWF/LED regularly coordinates its boating safety and waterway enforcement activities with local law enforcement waterway efforts to direct the state’s efforts on Louisiana waterways. These activities recruit new recreational boaters, encourage safe and legal activities, protect property, and save lives. LDWF/LED’s ultimate goal is a safe, secure, and enjoyable recreational boating experience on Louisiana’s waterways.


The LDWF/LED Boating Safety and Waterways Enforcement Five Year Strategic Plan complements and is derived from Strategic Plan Of The National Recreational Boating Safety (RBS) Program implemented in 2007.

The National Recreational Boating Safety Program is administered by the USCG with funds derived from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund to ensure “safe, secure, and enjoyable recreational boating experience…” The Fund provides for grants administered by the USCG to states participating in the State Recreational Boating Safety Program. Louisiana is a participant of this program.

By complementing and deriving our goals from the National RBS Plan, Louisiana is not only working to make our waters safer, but the nations waters safer.


The vision of the LDWF/LED is to provide the citizens and visitors of the state of Louisiana with the safest, securest, and most enjoyable recreational boating experience possible while on Louisiana’s abundant waterways and coastal areas by providing consistent and exceptional public safety and education.


The mission of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division Boating Safety and Waterways Enforcement Five Year Strategic Plan is to minimize the loss of life, personal injury, and property damage incurred in recreational boating while cooperating with environmental and homeland security efforts. This mission will be fulfilled by implementing programs and activities in boating safety education and enforcement that have been identified as being effective in reducing boating crash incidents, injuries, property damage, and fatalities. 


Generally speaking, recreational boating is a fun and safe activity; however, every year in Louisiana people are involved in boating crash incidents, but most importantly people die in some of these boating crash incidents. In recent history, Louisiana has one of the highest fatality rates among states with at least 100,000 registered boats. These deaths and crashes are preventable. The LDWF/LED is committed to reducing the boating crash incidents and fatalities by a two-pronged effort. The first effort is through boating safety education. The second is through enforcement of boating safety laws and regulations. LDWF/LED agents make sure that boaters carry the proper safety equipment (like personal flotation devices and fire extinguishers) and operate safely and carefully – and soberly. This two pronged approach is the guiding principle of our strategic goals.



Objective One: Increase the number of boating safety education successful completions.

Strategy 1-1.1—Continue to grow partnerships with boating organizations, volunteer groups, and schools to increase the number of boating courses available and increase the number of volunteer instructors across the state.

Strategy 1-1.2—Become more aggressive with marketing and notification of location and times of boating education courses so that the public is informed of where and when they can complete a course.

Strategy 1-1.3—Work to implement boating safety course promotional days by partnering with businesses in each of the enforcement regions to provide promotion items, food, drink, and facilities for specially designated boating safety courses throughout the year.

Strategy 1-1.4—Increase voluntary compliance with the states mandatory boating education law.

Objective Two: Increase awareness of Safe Boating Practices

Strategy 1-2.1—Promote a branded message for issues such as life jacket wear, alcohol-use, completing a safe boating course, etc. For example, “Wear It Louisiana!”

Strategy 1-2.2—Target geographic areas that have historically higher incidents of crashes and/or fatalities to increase boating safety awareness utilizing local businesses, boating organizations, and volunteers.

Strategy 1-2.3—Develop a message from law enforcement by increasing the presence of law enforcement officers on the water to act as deterrent and provide on-the-water messaging to deliver branded messages.

Strategy 1-2.4—Increase cooperative partnerships with businesses i.e. marine dealers, alcohol beverage distributors, marinas, etc. to fund and support marketing and outreach efforts that promote safe boating practices, information on vessel security zones and other relevant homeland security and boating safety issues.

Objective Three—Promote life jacket wear

Strategy 1-3.1—Identify at-risk populations utilizing drowning data captured by the Boating Accident Report Database (BARD) System and develop a marketing strategy utilizing the results of the Survey of Louisiana Resident Boat Owners to encourage the at-risk population to increase their life-jacket wear rates.

Strategy 1-3.2—Develop a relationship with the Louisiana Marine Dealers to disseminate life jacket wear information and promote the use of life jackets.


Objective One—Increase Voluntary Compliance with Navigation rules and safety equipment through effective and efficient patrol effort

Strategy 2-1.1—Utilize the NASBLA Navigation Rules Training Program to train new officers in Navigation Rules and identifying/documenting navigation rule violations.

Strategy 2-1.2—Enhance enforcement effort of navigation rules and use media messages to increase voluntary compliance.

Strategy 2-1.3—Work with and educate prosecutors and the courts on navigation rules violations, the implication the violations have on boating crash incidents and their role in overall compliance with boating regulations.

Strategy 2-1.4—Evaluate incidents of non-compliance with required safety equipment and target problem compliance areas through increased enforcement patrol, education, and public awareness campaigns.

Strategy 2-1.5—Continuance and expansion of distribution of safety equipment check sheets, posters, and brochures of required and recommended safety equipment carriage for display and dissemination at point of sale locations and marinas.

Objective Two—Ensuring Boating Crash Incident Reporting Data Accuracy and Completeness

Strategy 2-2.1—Improve incident report training by implementing the NASBLA Boating Accident Course as a regular part of officer training. Provide clear and concise incident reporting criteria, including definitions, procedures, and guidance. Continue to provide new information to all officers through in-service training.

Strategy 2-2.2—Increase public awareness of boating crash incident reporting requirements so a more accurate analysis of boating crash incidents in Louisiana can be obtained.

Objective Three—Reduce Boating Under the Influence Boating Crash Incidents and Fatalities

Strategy 2-3.1—Track and identify trends in alcohol use in boating by geographic area using the BARD data and DWI apprehensions by officers to determine areas to schedule proactive enforcement patrols.

Strategy 2-3.2—Continue to partner with other law enforcement agencies to conduct concurrent land and water enforcement patrols, i.e. from the boat to the launch to the road and promote these patrols through the media.

Strategy 2-3.3—Partner with statewide alcohol beverage distributors to fund awareness campaigns on responsible alcohol use while participating in recreational water sports.

Strategy 2-3.4—Continue to provide in-service training to officers in BUI detection as well as train officers on the newly validated Standardized Field Sobriety Tests suitable for use in marine law enforcement.

Strategy 2-3.5—Develop and implement a strategy to educate prosecutors and judges throughout the state on the newly validated Standardized Field Sobriety Tests suitable for use in marine law enforcement.

Strategy 2-3.6—Continue and increase publicizing in all avenues of the media several high profile, high visibility patrols we conduct during holiday weekends such as Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, etc. Continue and increase participation and publicizing of the national BUI event Operation Drywater.


Objective One--Review and evaluate annually BARD data, compliance data, patrol/public contact data, and boating education data to measure to evaluate if plan objectives are being met.

Strategy 4-1.1—Review and identify annually USCG BARD data to track trends in causes, factors, etc. related to boating crash incidents and fatalities.

Strategy 4-1.2—Review and identify annually department data on boating safety compliance via citations, public contacts, patrol hours, DWI arrests, etc.

Strategy 4-1.3—Review and identify annually department data on successful completion of boating education courses.

Objective Two—Implement changes necessary annually to meet the objectives of the plan. Assess and update the plan in five years.

Strategy 4.2-1—Create a working group comprised of members of the enforcement division and the boating community to come up with new strategies and tasks to reach goals listed in plan.

Strategy 4.2-2—Evaluate the final data after the five year period to re-evaluate goals and update plan for next five years.


Objective One—Maximize efficiency and outputs associated with funds received in support of boating safety and waterways enforcement activities.

Strategy 5-1.1—Provide proactive boating safety enforcement patrols in concert with core mission responsibilities of fish, wildlife, ecosystem, and homeland security activities (primarily maritime security).

Strategy 5-1.2—Utilize equipment and training received in concert with other core mission responsibilities, in support of boating safety and waterways enforcement and education.

Objective Two—Seek new, continued, and creative funding sources.

Strategy 5-2.2—Continue to seek partnerships with business and industry to fund outreach and marketing programs.

Strategy 5-2.2—Continue to partner with boating organizations, dealers, and schools to sponsor boating safety education courses.

Strategy 5-2.3—Work nationally to increase RBS grant dollars available to states.

Strategy 5-2.34—Coordinate and maintain memorandum of understanding with USCG; coordinate activity as needed to support boating safety and waterways enforcement activity.

application/pdf icon Survey of Louisiana Recreational Boaters

L.D.W.F. Agents Find Deceased Boater In St. Bernard Parish

Release Date: 11/15/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents found the deceased body of an overdue Mississippi boater near Martin Island in St. Bernard Parish shortly before noon on Nov. 14.

Agents found the body of David McAdory, 63, of Madison County, Miss. near his anchored boat in the Chandeleur Sound portion of Louisiana waters.

Agents responded to a report of an overdue boater out of Mississippi in the late afternoon hours of Nov. 13.  Agents later found the anchored boat with fishing lines still in the water with no one on board and searched until nightfall with the assistance of U.S. Coast Guard helicopters for the body of McAdory. 

Agents found McAdory’s body without a personal flotation device in eight to 10 foot of water.  Agents transported the deceased body and his vessel to the Fort Beauregard landing where the St. Bernard Parish Coroner assumed custody of the body to determine a cause of death.

LDWF agents do no suspect foul play at this time as the victim suffered from an unspecified medical condition, which may have contributed to his death.

For more information, contact Adam Einck 225-765-2465 or  


L.D.W.F. Agents Rescue Boaters in Vermilion Bay

Release Date: 10/28/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents rescued two boaters this morning, Oct. 28, from the rough waters of Vermilion Bay in St. Mary Parish.

Responding to a 911 call around 7:30 a.m., LDWF Senior Agents Jason Romero and David Ducote found Rocky Romero, 45, and Willie Reaux, 52, both of New Iberia, clinging to a wharf piling after their 17-foot vessel had capsized and sank.

Agents threw a personal flotation device (PFD) connected to a rope to one of the men and were able to pull the man to their 32-foot whaler. Assisting the agents was a shrimp boat and its crew as they were able to pull the other man to their boat. Both men were wearing their PFDs, which helped them keep afloat as help arrived.

"Our agents are highly trained and have the equipment necessary for search and rescue missions. These two agents with assistance from the public did a great job in responding as fast as possible and getting the two men out of the water and back to shore," said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of LDWF's Enforcement Division. "The men that were rescued should also be congratulated as they did the right thing by notifying 911 before it was too late and wearing their lifejackets."

Agents and the local shrimp boat transported the men to Cypremort Point where Emergency Medical Specialists were waiting. The men were treated for minor injuries and released. LDWF agents will conduct a boating incident investigation to determine why the vessel capsized and sank.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or


Lake Bistineau Update - Sept. 22, 2010

Several weeks ago, the gates at the control structure on Lake Bistineau were closed in an effort to slowly increase water levels.  Unlike last year, there has been very little precipitation in the watersheds, resulting in no water level increase above the 7 foot drawdown capacity.  

As expected, giant salvinia, especially in protected areas/pockets has increased in coverage.  

The gates will remain closed until water levels rise and salvinia coverage is evaluated at the increased water levels.  When water levels allow, we plan to initiate water level fluctuations to strand the salvinia.  Please note that water fluctuation efforts may occur prior to the lake reaching pool stage.   Rain events drive water levels in the lake.  Therefore, the department cannot provide a timeframe for fluctuation events based on this unknown.  

Part of our plan also includes continued herbicide applications on the lake.  However, maneuvering equipment for these treatments is tedious and dangerous due to low lake levels and stumpage.  Currently, some shallow areas appear to be inundated with the plant.  Many of these areas remain inaccessible to herbicide treatments, but once lake levels rise, the salvinia will disperse over a much larger space.  As the plants move to new areas, we anticipate they will be more susceptible to stranding due to water level manipulation in combination with herbicide treatments.  

Webster Parish has submitted a funding assistance request to develop a new boating access facility at the Port of Bistineau to allow boating access during drawdown periods.  The department will consider this request once parish officials submit a finalized application.  

Those interested in removing cypress trees during the drawdown period are asked to contact James Seales (318) 371-3063 in our Minden office.  We will consider issuance of a permit on a case by case basis, based on the need.   We require that all trees be cut to the mud line and removed from the lake.  

Mapping of the lake bottom is not expected to be complete until the lake level reaches pool stage sometime this winter.  A contour map is necessary to finish our assessment of shallow lagoons in preparation of our request to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct specific dirt work.  These lagoons serve as an exceptional habitat for salvinia growth.  In our plan, we discuss the need to address those areas cut off from draining during drawdown events.  

A fly-over of the lake is planned in the near future to help us understand more about giant salvinia coverage during the drawdown and identify those areas cut off from draining.

Please continue to use our Website to submit your comments and questions.  Your input is important to us, and we encourage everyone to stay actively engaged.
Mark McElroy

Fisheries Biologist

First Tour Du Teche Canoe Race to be Held Sept. 17-19

Release Date: 09/02/2010


The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division hasapproved a marine event permit for the upcoming Tour du Teche canoe race from Sept. 17-19.

The 130-mile race on Bayou Techewill begin at Port Barre on Sept. 17 at 8 a.m. with a finish line at Patterson.  There will be a 60-hour cutoff to finish this inaugural race.

To register for the race and more information on fees, the mandatory meeting on Sept. 16 and rules, please visit

The Tour du Teche is a part of the Teach Ecology, Culture and History Education (TECHE) Project that originated in Summer 2009 in St. Landry Parish.  The project aims to make Bayou Teche a healthier waterway for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, boating, tubing and swimming.

"The department was happy to issue a marine event permit for the inaugural Tour du Teche canoe race since it corresponds with the department's mission to conserve and protect the state's natural resources and met the permit approval guidelines," said Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne.  "We hope this canoe race really catches on and helps improve the recreational and aesthetic qualities of the Bayou Teche watershed in the future."

The department issues marine event permits for any organized event held on the water that introduces extra or unusual safety hazards on navigable waterways.  Permit forms can be found at and must be turned in to the department at least 30 days prior to any event.

According to the Teche Project Web site, "One goal of the TECHE Project and Tour du Teche is to educate people about water quality and the need for nonpoint source pollution prevention and reduction.  Discovery can take place with an interactive, hands-on experience on and along Bayou Teche.  Tour du Teche will work with the National Park Service, parishes and towns to identify public access needs and help implement improvement activities.  Education kiosks will be built to provide self-directed education to boaters and paddlers about water quality, preventing non-point source pollution, native flora and birds, culture, history as well as boater safety information for children and adults."

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or


application/pdf icon Motorboat Registrations by Parish 1988 - 2011application/pdf icon The Economic Benefits of Fisheries, Wildlife and Boating Resources in the State of Louisiana (2006)
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