Louisiana boating accidents rise amid COVID-19

Updated: Apr. 17, 2020 at 6:34 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - With many businesses closed and more people at home, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is seeing an increase of people out on the water.

“We’re thinking that it’s from people just wanting to get out and about move around and get out the house," Sgt. Stuart Guillory said. "With that increase of boat traffic we’re seeing an increase in boating accidents.”

Sgt. Guillory said the spike in boating accidents across the state is a concern.

“We’ve had some people get hurt; there are some fatal boating accidents in other parts of the state," Sgt. Guillory said. "But we’re trying [to] just remind people before it happens.”

The department is urging people to practice safety measures while out on the water.

“We want to remind the public that we’re going to be out patrolling and looking for violations for boat and safety problems," Sgt. Guillory said.

Agents will also make sure people are complying with the Governor’s stay at home order and step in if necessary.

“We’re going to be looking for large gatherings of people to you know make sure that they’re practicing social distancing," Sgt. Guillory said. “Remind them about social distancing and advise them to take somebody out the boat if they’re too close."

Sgt. Guillory is advising boaters to think twice before doing something that could harm themselves and others.

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