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Ascension Parish leaders discuss boating safety with number of deaths on the water rising

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ASCENSION PARISH - With the number of deaths on the water increasing this year, Ascension Parish leaders have a very clear message for boaters: follow the common sense rules to keep yourself and others safe.

Thursday, the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office was on patrol in the Amite River to show how dangerous operating a boat can be.

Wakes and other obstacles on the water can turn a fun day on the water into a deadly one. With deaths on Louisiana waters on the rise, Ascension Parish Leaders met to emphasize boating safety.

"This year, unfortunately, it has been a bad year," Sergeant Randy Lanoux with Wildlife and Fisheries said.

Lanoux says many deaths could have been prevented by following the rules and wearing a life jacket.

Last week, WBRZ reported a 17-year-old girl who was killed after standing past the guard rails of the pontoon boat she was on, falling into the water and getting hit by the propeller.

"We're ahead of schedule in Louisiana. We're at 20 deaths state wide, and last year we only had 26," Lanoux said.

Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment says he wants to stop these preventable deaths by telling people simple ways to be safe on the water.

"If we have an opportunity to save lives just by bringing awareness, that's our goal," Cointment said.

Lanoux says he does not want to write tickets or arrest people but says he will do what he has to in order to protect the safety of others out on the water.

"It's all about you coming out here and coming home the same way you came out here," Lanoux said.

Wildlife and Fisheries says they have zero tolerance for boating while impaired, and you will be arrested if you are caught.


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