NewsCovering Louisiana


Boating fatalities rising; LDWF urges the use of life jacket, other safety measures

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Posted at 12:48 PM, Mar 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-10 13:48:40-05

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division is reminding all boaters to practice safe boating as spring and summer boating season approaches.

The reminder comes after two more boating fatalities within the past week, bringing the number of Louisiana boating fatalities in 2021 to seven. At this time in 2020, there were only two recreational boating fatalities.

"We haven't even gotten into the prime boating season in Louisiana yet and we are seeing fatalities climb at an alarming pace," said Col. Chad Hebert, the head of the LDWF Enforcement Division. "We are urging boaters to please adhere to all safe boating laws and practices."

On Feb. 28 a person fell off of a personal watercraft without wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) and drowned in Vermilion Parish, according to LDWF. Then on March 6, a boat with five people on board struck a railroad bridge in Lake Pontchartrain, near New Orleans, that resulted in one fatality and four people being treated for serious injuries at an area hospital.

"A life jacket is the life- saving equipment on a boat. Please, please use it," said LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet. "We want more people enjoying the water, but there are safety rules that are important to follow."

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