The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is reminding boaters to be mindful of the weather when out on the water.
LDWF says there have been four fatalities and three rescues so far in 2022 on large lakes where weather and conditions reportedly changed quickly. Vessels were capsized, swamped, or submerged as a result of abrupt weather changes.
"Boaters should always make themselves and their crew aware of all potential dangers that could occur during an outing," LDWF says.
The department shared a few tips to keep in mind before going out on the water. They say that
before leaving, boaters should check the Marine forecast for significant changes in weather conditions. A boat's size, range, and current running condition should also be taken into account, they say.
“It is the responsibility of the operator to decide to continue or make adjustments to the trip,” said Major Clay Marques, the Boating Law Administrator for Louisiana. “No matter the boater’s skill or capability level, weather changes can be rapid and can quickly turn a fun situation into a dangerous one. At the end of the day, we want every boater to enjoy their experience and return home safely.”
If you are on the water and a thunderstorm is approaching, LDWF says to ensure that all occupants are wearing their properly fitted life jackets and head toward the nearest safe shore.
Weather such as strong winds, storms, lighting, and fog can cause dangerous situations even on static waters with little or no current or tide movement.
Various apps are available on most smartphones that can provide warnings of approaching weather and provide you with the best information to make decisions. You can also tune into your VHF radio for alerts.
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