Boating

Boating Incident in Lake St. John Results in Fatality

Release Date: 06/16/2012

June 16, 2012 --- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents responded to a boating incident on Lake St. John that left one man dead and possibly another at 12:15 a.m. this morning, June 16.

Bruce Pickle, 50, was found in the water by some onlookers after they witnessed him crash into a pier on Lake St. John with his bass boat around midnight.  Pickle was ejected from the boat and was recovered by the witnesses who attempted CPR on him before authorities arrived.

Pickle’s body was transferred to the Concordia Parish Coroner’s Office.  LDWF agents did pull a blood sample for a toxicology report, but do not suspect alcohol or drugs played a role in this incident at this time.

This morning, LDWF agents received a call about the possibility of another person still under the water at the wreck scene at the pier.  The call has led authorities to believe there may have been a passenger with Pickle at the time of the wreck.

LDWF agents along with the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office have begun searching for this possible missing boater.

Pickle was not wearing a personal flotation device.  His cause of death is unknown at this time.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-354-9517 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Body of Missing Boater Recovered From Lake Pontchartrain

Release Date: 06/05/2012

Search crews found the body of a Slidell man shortly after 2 p.m. today, June 5, on Lake Pontchartrain.

The body of Isiah M. Tate, 21, was recovered by search crews from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Coast Guard and Sea Tow.

According to the three other passengers on the 21 foot boat, Tate fell overboard due to rough waters around 3:30 a.m. near the twin spans on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain south of Slidell.  The passengers said they were able to locate the missing boater in the water twice before he would disappear into the water again before they could make contact.

According to the passengers, Tate was not wearing a personal flotation device.  His body has been turned over to the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office.

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

Search Crews Looking for Missing Boater in Lake Pontchartrain

Release Date: 06/05/2012

Search crews were alerted at 3:30 a.m. this morning, June 5, of a missing boater in Lake Pontchartrain.

Searchers from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Coast Guard and Sea Tow are currently looking for Isiah M. Tate, 21, of Slidell, near the twin spans on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain south of Slidell.

According to the three other passengers on the 21 foot boat, Tate fell overboard due to rough waters around 3:30 a.m.  The passengers said they were able to locate the missing boater in the water twice before he would disappear into the water again before they could make contact.

According to the passengers, Tate was not wearing a personal flotation device.

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

Region 8 Boating Course

Date: 
Saturday, March 29, 2014
Address: 

St Charles East Bank Library
160 West Campus Drive
Destrahan 70047

City: 
Destrahan
Notes: 

8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Region 8 Boating Course

Date: 
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Address: 

Jean Lafitte National Park Education Center
6600 Barataria Blvd. Marrero, LA 70072

City: 
Marrero
Notes: 

9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

LDWF Agent Receives Boating Award

Release Date: 05/22/2012

Lt. Spencer Cole

A Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agent was decorated with the 2012 Southern Regional Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award on May 15.

The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) acknowledged the work of LDWF Lt. Spencer Cole, 37, of Pineville, with the award for his “outstanding service to recreational boating.”  Lt. Cole will have a chance to win the 2012 Butch Potts Memorial Award for the National Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award at the NASBLA Annual Conference in September.  The other two nominees for the national award are Master Conservation Officer Shawn Brown of Indiana for the Northern Region and Ranger Dawn Larsen of Utah for the Western Region.

“This is a great achievement and one that is very deserving,” said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of LDWF Enforcement Division.  “Lt. Cole has spearheaded many boating programs that have helped create standardized training for our agents that will in turn result in more efficient boating safety, maritime security and search and rescue missions.”

Lt. Cole headed up LDWF’s Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) program, which provides a true national standard for training and ensures maritime agencies can interact together.  He was instrumental in LDWF becoming the first agency in the United States to earn national accreditation for the NASBLA BOAT program in 2011.  Also in 2011, Lt. Cole worked to get LDWF's BOAT program accredited in Louisiana’s Peace Officer and Standardized Training (POST) council.  These accreditations made Louisiana the first state to officially adopt the BOAT program as a law enforcement standard for maritime boating safety enforcement and search and rescue training.

Through the BOAT program accreditation, Lt. Cole has planned for every LDWF agent to complete the NASBLA Level One Boating Accident Investigation Course in 2012.  Lt. Cole also worked with NASBLA to get two LDWF agents certified as instructors in the Level One Boat Accident Course.

"Receiving the BOAT program accreditations were significant achievements for the department as we work with the U.S. Coast Guard, State Police and local authorities daily in patrolling our local waterways," said LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the state's Boating Law Administrator.  "This training program allows every enforcement agency responsible for securing and providing safe passage on our waterways to train together and be on the same page during natural disasters and maritime security threats.”

Lt. Cole is the coordinator of the driving while intoxicated (DWI) enforcement agent training, which has led to increases in the efficiency, quality and quantity of DWI detection training LDWF agents receive annually.

Lt. Cole joined the LDWF Enforcement Division in 1999.  He has been active in recreational boating law enforcement and training throughout his career and became LDWF’s Director of Training in 2010.

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

Louisiana Safe Boating Week 2012

Louisiana Safe Boating Week 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.

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.

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.

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.

Syndicate content