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Ahead of busy weekend on the water, LDWF encouraging safety among boaters

4 weeks 1 minute 48 seconds ago Friday, May 24 2024 May 24, 2024 May 24, 2024 5:48 PM May 24, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

MAUREPAUS - The Diversion Canal was calm on Friday afternoon, but it's the beginning of a busy Memorial Day weekend on the water. 

Just feet away from the launch at the Hilltop Inn restaurant, a Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agent was putting his boat in the water, preparing to look for signs of trouble.

"If you're going to be out here, expect to see us," Sgt. Carl Armstrong said.

According to the LDWF, 107 people died in boating accidents between 2019 and 2023. The department is encouraging the public to prioritize safety, and prevent more tragedies from happening.

"If you don't have your proper safety equipment, you can possibly lose your life out here. We want everybody to go home safely," Armstrong said.

Two things that can decrease your chances of being hurt on the water: having a personal floatation device, and avoiding drinking and driving. Additionally, Armstrong says a decent understanding of how to operate your vessel can help when the water gets choppy. 

"If you're gonna have a boat out here make sure you know how to drive it," he said.

The LDWF offers free boat safety courses statewide. Anyone born after January 1, 1984, is required to complete a boater's education course before operating a vessel.

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