So far, in 2023 Louisiana has reported four boating fatalities. In 2022, Louisiana reported 29 fatalities. As we approach the beginning of the spring and summer boating season, LDWF Enforcement Division urges boaters to take safety seriously while on the water.
Here are some tips on keeping you and your family safe this Memorial Day Weekend and always:
𝗪𝗲𝗮𝗿 𝗮 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗳𝗹𝗼𝗮𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗱𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗰𝗲 (𝗣𝗙𝗗) – a “life jacket.” Of the 29 fatalities in 2022, 22 of those were not wearing a personal flotation device. Each vessel should have enough PFDs on board for all occupants. Anyone 16 years of age and younger must wear a PFD while underway in vessels less than 26-foot long. For life jacket fit facts visit: https://safe
𝗧𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗮 𝗯𝗼𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘀𝗮𝗳𝗲𝘁𝘆 𝗰𝗹𝗮𝘀𝘀. Anyone born after Jan. 1, 1984 is required to successfully complete a boating education course to operate a motorboat over 10 horsepower. These classes are offered free of charge statewide. For more info, visit www.wlf.la.gov/page/boater-education
𝗖𝗵𝗲𝗰𝗸 𝘀𝗮𝗳𝗲𝘁𝘆 𝗴𝗲𝗮𝗿. Now is a good time for boaters to inspect their vessels to ensure that all required safety equipment is on board and that vessels are in good working condition.
𝗨𝘀𝗲 𝗮𝗻 𝗲𝗻𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗰𝘂𝘁-𝗼𝗳𝗳 𝘀𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗰𝗵. This is a proven safety device to stop a powerboat engine should the operator unexpectedly fall overboard.
𝗠𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗮 𝗳𝗹𝗼𝗮𝘁 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗻. Always let someone on shore know the trip itinerary, including operator and passenger information, boat type, and communication equipment on board before you leave the dock.
𝗪𝗮𝘁𝗰𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿. Always check the forecast before departing on the water and frequently during the excursion.
𝗛𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗮 𝘀𝗼𝗯𝗲𝗿 𝗼𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗼𝗿. Alcohol consumption impairs a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time. Alcohol use is one of the leading causes of boating crash incidents and fatalities on the water. The penalties for operating or driving a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) are the same as driving a vehicle.