Louisiana officials give boating tips ahead of Memorial Day

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STERLINGTON, La. (KNOE)- The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is expecting a lot of people to head to the water ahead of Memorial Day. Agents are asking people to take precaution out on the water.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries are asking people to take precaution out on the water.

“Absolutely important is a sober driver,” said Sergeant Scott Jeansonne.

Jeansonne says being too reckless on the water is common during Memorial Day weekend and operating a boat while intoxicated carries harsh penalties.

“A DWI on the water is exactly the same as on the roadway, “said Jeansonne.

Jeansonne says the high water levels also pose a huge threat to boaters.

“Typically the water’s edge would be just outside of these trees and right now it’s all the way up to the levy system, flooded roadways. Out on the water you need to be aware that there are going to be more obstacles, submerged obstacles,” explained Jeansonne.

Right now, the Ouachita Parish river near Sterlington is at 50 feet. Ideal boating conditions are about 35 feet.

Jeansonne says hitting a hidden object hard enough could do more than sink your ship.

“A boat accident with injuries and fatalities which are all things we work on a common basis,” said Jeansonne.

With a growing number of people expected to hit the water this weekend, he is asking everyone to take extra precautions.

“We ask that they have a wearable personal flotation device for every person on board, a throwable device. Plenty of fluids, water, Gatorade things of that nature while on the water. You can get dehydrated quickly,” said Jeansonne.

Sergeant Jeansonne is also asking people to bring plenty of fluids with them on the water.

He says the heat mixed with movement of the boat is enough to make people dehydrated.