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Livingston leaders look into safety measures after another weekend of Tiki Tubing rescues

2 years 7 months 53 minutes ago Sunday, August 01 2021 Aug 1, 2021 August 01, 2021 11:00 PM August 01, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

DENHAM SPRINGS – Patience is running out after first responders had to rescue more tubers in the Amite over the weekend.

Fifteen people were plucked from the water while Tiki Tubing. This isn’t an isolated incident. Another 15 were rescued on July 17, and two people have drowned this summer.

Now, these are calls for stricter enforcement. Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks plans to propose an ordinance that would address safety concerns to the parish council at the next meeting on August 12.

“The idea is not to stop [the business] or shut it down, but just to make sure they’re following some sort of safety protocol,” Ricks said.

Right now, there is no law set in place to regulate tubing in the parish. Ricks said there could be a protocol put in place regarding river levels.

“If it gets to a certain depth if it’s three inches higher than it typically is or 5 or 6, whatever the council may decide, maybe we can put that in the ordinance as well. So then, at that point, we can shut the river down if we need to,” Ricks said. “We already have the authority to shut waterways down in general, for disasters and storms and things, but regarding something for a particular area for tubing or boating or skiing, we don’t have that.”

Central Mayor David Barrow applauds Livingston Parish leaders for any effort they put into place to increase safety in the water.

"That river is dangerous. I wouldn’t get in it. Anyone that wants to get in that river, you’re facing a death trap,” Barrow said.

Earlier this summer, Livingston Parish shut down a controversial paintball company. Residents were complaining that Guerilla Warefare was too noisy and crowded streets.

“They weren’t following the ordinance. They were not meeting the requirements of the ordinance at that time,” Ricks said.

Ricks says that is the difference in the case versus Tiki Tubing – there is no law against a business providing tubing in a public waterway.

"I never just want to shut a business down, but I do think something needs to be put in place that would regulate how business is operated, since we're having so many issues on the waterways there,” Ricks said.

The owner of Tiki Tubing has closed his business on certain days due to high water this summer.

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