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Iberville officials, boating residents want 'no wake zone' in area around damaged Grosse Tete bridge

4 days 3 hours 40 minutes ago Monday, July 08 2024 Jul 8, 2024 July 08, 2024 5:45 PM July 08, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

GROSSE TETE — Iberville Parish officials are asking recreational and commercial vessels to slow down near the damaged Grosse Tete draw bridge because wakes are pushing water onto boats docked nearby.

The draw bridge was damaged by a towboat pushing a barge last month and is expected to be closed for several months. Rather than take an hour-long detour, many residents have docked boats along the water to aid in their commute. The parish is also operating a passenger ferry.

Sheriff Brett Stassi said he and Iberville Parish President Chris Daigle are asking passing vessels to follow a "no wake zone" policy from the Verret Shipyard north to the Grosse Tete bridge. Several residents who keep boats docked near the shoreline have seen their vessels swamped because of powerful wakes generated by passing boats. 

"These people are already suffering. To not have a way to get their cars back and forth. Now to have a chance to have their boats sunk by some vehicles who are not watching...that's just too much injury," Stassi said.

Morgan Booksh, a Grosse Tete resident working in Plaquemine, rows a pirogue across the waterway every morning to get to work. Despite the ferry's newly extended hours, Booksh needs to cross before it begins operating at 5 a.m.

"If it's raining, I got a rain suit. If it's hot, I'm just sweating," Booksh said. 

Booksh is in favor of the new "no wake zone" because his boat rocks dangerously when barges pass him. 

"It gets pretty choppy, especially with them big tugboats. They throw some pretty big wakes so it's kinda dangerous being in a little pirogue," Booksh said. 

A formal request will be submitted to the United States Coast Guard and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in the coming days. The Iberville Sheriff's office will begin issuing citations to those who do not abide by the "no wake zone" once new signage is posted this week. 

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