Louisiana has high occurrence of boating accidents

By Adam Hooper - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It is a historically deadly season on Louisiana waters. Louisiana averages around 50 boating accidents per year. But, it is only June and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries reports 54 boat related accidents in the state, 15 of those resulting in death.

"The number has been really high for boating fatalities," said Jubal Marceaux with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

The Wildlife and Fisheries said that May, 2009 was the deadliest in Louisiana history. But, despite these startling figures Captain Jubal Marcia said, there are things you can do to stay safe while on the water. The number one thing is to wear a life jacket, but not just any life jacket.

"The most important thing when buying a life jacket is making sure it is coast guard approved. The next thing is trying it on making sure it is a snug fit," said Captain Marcia.

But, before ever leaving land, Captain Marcia recommends putting together a float plan by telling a friend or a family member where you are going and when you are expected to return.

"If that person does get into a situation it gives us a better idea of where to start looking," said Captain Marcia.

But, according to Captain Marcia, the number one thing to remember if you get into trouble, is to never leave your boat. It will help you stay above water and make it easier to be located by emergency responders.

With the number of boating accidents increasing in the state, The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries is not taking any chances. If you plan on being in the water, plan on seeing an increased police presence, patrolling the water ways.

Here is an important number you may want to write down. If you are out on the water and experience problems you can call the toll free boating distress hot line 24 hours a day 7 days a week. That number is 1-800-442-2511

(Copyright 2009 KPLC-TV. All rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)