Sergeant Randy Lanoux's guide to boating safety
BATON ROUGE - State wildlife officials said boating deaths in Louisiana were at their lowest point since 1974 last year, and that some simple tips can help keep those numbers low this summer.
Sergeant Randy Lanoux from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said proper safety equipment and general boating safety are vital, but one of the biggest factors for fatalities on the water comes from impaired operation of vessels.
Lanoux said the required equipment for operating a boat may seem obvious, but each vessel is required to have the items on board at all times while in operation. The equipment required by law includes life jackets for all occupants, life preserver, fire extinguisher, whistle, and boat registration but a more detailed list of everything the law demands can be obtained at LDWF's website.
While having the right gear is a start, Sergeant Lanoux stresses that operating a boat while impaired is both potentially life-threatening and against the law.
The Louisiana DWF is collaborating with local law enforcement this June to crack down on intoxicated boaters with an official effort called Operation Dry Water. Sergeant Lanoux wishes to remind everyone headed out to the lake, bayou, or river that moderation is key to enjoying your experience on the water and having a safe summer. Designating a driver is just as important on the water as it is on the roads.