The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) certified 164 boaters statewide after their third “Boating Education Lagniappe Day” on May 11.
Boating Education Lagniappe Day ran from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at eight locations across the state and consisted of the National Association of Safe Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public.
“We are extremely pleased with the turnout as more boaters will now be safer when boating on Louisiana waterways,” said LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the State’s Boating Law Administrator. “We wanted to make this day full of fun and still be educational at the same time and I feel we accomplished both goals.”
The NASBLA safe boating certification is mandatory for anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 who wants to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.
The NASBLA approved course includes information on choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and equipment requirements. The course also covers many navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more. Each student received that completed the course was issued a vessel operators certification card.
Sponsors for each location provided a free lunch, door prizes and giveaways such as sunglasses, fishing rod and reels, cups, and water bottles.
Sponsors for the Boating Education Lagniappe Day were the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Pizza Hut, Cabela’s, Songy’s Sporting Goods of Houma, South Louisiana Bank of Houma, Evergreen Cajun Center of Houma, St. Landry Lumber Company, Louisiana Waterway Safety Inc., Krispy Kreme of Metairie, Village Inn Restaurant, C&M Fuel/Team Lafitte Harbor, West Marine of Lakeview, Boat Stuff, Alario Bros. Marine Supply, Temento’s Dive Shop and Puglia’s Sporting Goods.
For more information on boating regulations and safety, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating. For more information on boating education courses, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/courses.
Studies have shown that states with a mandatory boating education program have fewer boating incidents that result in fatalities than states that have no boating education program. States with a boating education program for more than 20 years had 3.67 fatalities per 100,000 registered boats, and states with no boating education program had 6.61 fatalities per 100,000 boats.
LDWF initiated the state’s boating education program in 2003 and has certified over 50,000 boaters during that time.
Image courtesy Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks