Third Annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" Slated for May 11
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will be hosting the third annual "Boating Education Lagniappe Day" on May 11 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at eight different locations across the state.
During Boating Education Lagniappe Day, LDWF will provide instructors for the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) boating education course, NASBLA boating education certification, food and drinks, giveaways and door prizes all free of charge to the public. Interested participants must register by visiting www.wlf.louisiana.gov/ lagniappeday and calling the contact number listed for the chosen class. LDWF urges the public to register quickly as most places have limited spaces available and registration is on a first come first serve basis.
LDWF has certified 493 boaters from the previous two Boating Education Lagniappe Days.
"Boating Education Lagniappe Day is the perfect opportunity for those in need of a boating education certification and those that want to learn about boating safety,” said LDWF Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the State's Boating Law Administrator. “We want to make the day fun and educational at the same time and everything will be offered completely free."
Anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 must complete a NASBLA approved boating education course and carry proof of completion to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.
The 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. Completion of the course will result in the student being issued a vessel operators certification card.
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.
"Boating education has been a proven method to reduce fatalities on the water over time," said Capt. Rachel Zechenelly, LDWF's Boating Safety Coordinator. "Since more and more of the boating public will fall into the mandatory age for certification, we will eventually reach a point where everyone that wants to boat in this state will have their boating education certificate making the waterways more enjoyable and safer."
Sponsors for the Boating Education Lagniappe Day are 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.
Below is the list of class locations and the registration contact information:
Bossier City: Academy Sports and Outdoors 2801 Beene Blvd. Bossier City, LA 71111 Call the Minden Office at 318-371- 3049 to register.
West Monroe: Academy Sports and Outdoors 111 Constitution Dr. West Monroe, LA 71292 Call the Monroe Office at 318-362- 3102 to register.
Alexandria: Academy Sports and Outdoors 3205 S. MacArthur Dr. Alexandria, LA 71301 Call the Pineville Office at 318-487 -5634 to register.
For more information on boating education courses, please visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/boating/ courses.