Department of Wildlife and Fisheries urging boaters to stay safe ahead of Memorial Day weekend
BATON ROUGE - Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest times on the water, especially in Louisiana.
This year, with rising gas prices, an even bigger crowd than usual is possible. That's why the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is reminding the public of ways to stay safe while on the water.
“We do think that we’ll see a good bit of people out on the water. With fuel prices being as high as they are, some people aren’t going to travel like they may in other years so they may be looking to stay home and do something local, so there may be an increase in boaters just due to something simple like that," Lt. Tim Fox with LDWF said.
Things like checking your fire extinguisher and GPS before you leave the dock could mean the difference between a fun time and a tragedy. Life jackets are a key factor as well.
“So many incidents that we have throughout the years turn out worse than they should have because some people simply chose not to have them. They were in their boats within reach and they chose not to put them on," Lt. Fox said.
If you get caught on the water after dark, Lt. Fox says it's important to turn off any lights on the inside of your boat because it could reduce visibility, or confuse oncoming boaters.
“Making sure that your internal lights are off and only those external navigation lights that are required are on. Not only is it going to give those operators a better view of what’s around them in their boating environment, but it’s also going to not confuse other boaters when they see different configurations of light."
After a fatal accident happened on False River last weekend, it's important to be prepared for any and all circumstances.
“Very simple things can help people turn what could be a tragedy into a safe outcome.”
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