Louisiana officials urge boaters to take safety measures seriously

CENTRAL LOUISIANA, Louisiana (KALB) – There have already been four boating-related deaths in Louisiana in 2022, including three on Lake Toledo Bend. Now officials are urging the public to keep safety in mind before going out on the water.

On March 5, two men on a boat at the south end of Toledo Bend were found, one had drowned, the other was rescued and airlifted to a hospital for treatment. hypothermia. The following weekend, March 12, two men drowned in Toledo Bend.

Although the state is full of experienced boaters, knowing and brushing up on boating safety precautions could save lives, should someone encounter an emergency on the water.

“Without a doubt, one of the most important factors in boating emergencies and incidents is the proper wearing of personal flotation devices,” said Lt. Tim Fox of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. “There are many more people who would live if they were all wearing life jackets when an incident occurs.”

In addition to wearing life jackets, ensuring the boat operator is not impaired is key to safety.

“The best judgments and the best decisions will be made by people who think clearly, so obviously you want to make sure drivers aren’t intoxicated,” Lt. Fox said.

Professional fisherman and Toledo Bend guide Darold Gleason says making sure you have a waterline plan that shows where the boat is launching from, where the boat will be and that it’s essential to have a waterline plan is essential. have someone down who knows the plan.

Toledo Bend Safety Tips with Pro Fisherman and Toledo Bend Guide Darold Gleason.

RELATED LINK: Darold Gleason YouTube Channel

“Let someone close to you know where you plan to fish that day,” Gleason said. “I know we anglers are secretive, so you don’t want to put it on Facebook where you’ll be fishing that day, but at least share it with your wife, loved one or close friend. For example, I share my location with my wife on my iPhone, that way if something has to happen or she can’t reach me, she can at least see where I was last. Remember that in an emergency on the water, minutes count.

Officials say it is imperative to know the weather forecast before launching the boat.

“Be a meteorologist, check the forecast thoroughly,” Gleason said. “You’re looking for rain, you’re looking for wind speed, and most importantly, on a big lake like Toledo Bend, you’re looking for wind direction.”

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries offers a free boating training course. For more information on this, CLICK HERE.

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Susan W. Lloyd