The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announces that Safe Boating Week begins Saturday. In Louisiana, Safe Boating Week marks the start of the spring and summer boating season.
LDWF spokesman Adam Einck says boaters can expect increased patrols and safe boating checks this weekend. In 2014, Louisiana reported 18 boating fatalities, the second lowest number ever recorded. So far this year, 9 fatalities have been reported and Einck says that has LDWF officials concerned.
"We really want to get the word out to people. We want them to have fun on the water, but we also want them to respect the water. We want everyone to come home safe."
He stresses the importance of using life jackets while boating as well as having a sober operator. Alcohol use is a leading cause of boating crashes and fatalities on the water. Einck says DWI laws on the water are the same as on the road.
"If you get a DWI in the water, you're going to lose your driving privileges for a year, just like you would if you were on the road."