Boating

Authorities Recover Body of Missing Boater in Terrebonne Parish

Release Date: 08/01/2019

Search and rescue crews recovered the body of the missing boater in Terrebonne Parish this morning, Aug. 1.

The body of Roy Lebouef, 69, of Montegut, was recovered around 6:30 a.m. in the vicinity of where he fell overboard from his vessel the day before.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Coast Guard were notified around 1 p.m. on July 31 about an unmanned 16-foot vessel in Bayou Terrebonne just south of Bush Canal.  The search crews responded immediately to the area to look for Lebouef.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.  It is unknown at this time how Lebouef fell overboard.  His body was found without a personal flotation device and was turned over to the Terrebonne Parish Coroner’s Office to determine and official cause of death.

LDWF Agents Investigating Fatal Boating Incident in Cameron Parish

Release Date: 07/03/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents are investigating a fatal vessel incident that occurred in Cameron Parish this morning, July 3.

The body of Joseph J. Bergeron, 34, of Sulphur, was recovered from the Calcasieu Ship Channel around 11:40 a.m.

According to the survivor, Bergeron was in a 23-foot vessel with another occupant heading south when they hit a dredge pipe around 3:30 a.m. near Hackberry.  Bergeron was ejected into the water without a personal flotation device.  The other occupant stayed in the vessel and was able to get a call out for help.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.  Bergeron’s body was turned over to the Cameron Parish Coroner’s Office.  The other occupant in the vessel sustained some injuries and was taken to the West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital.

LDWF Agents Participating in Operation Dry Water This Weekend

Release Date: 07/02/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division (LDWF/LED) agents will take part in Operation Dry Water from July 5 to July 7.

During the Operation Dry Water weekend, LDWF agents will be out in force patrolling state waterways for impaired boat operators.

“We are always on the lookout for impaired boat operators, but this weekend it will be more of a focused effort.  We are in full support of this national campaign and will do our part in removing impaired operators from the waterways this weekend,” said Major Rachel Zechenelly, the state’s boating law administrator.  “We know this will be a busy weekend and we want people to have fun on the waterways.  However, we please ask everybody on the water to wear a personal flotation device and have a sober operator.”

Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  It can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion.  Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications.

Nationwide, alcohol is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating incidents with alcohol playing a role in 19 percent of boating fatalities.  Louisiana had 20 boating fatalities in 2018, with alcohol playing a role in four fatalities or 20 percent.

Impaired boaters caught this weekend can expect penalties to be severe.  In Louisiana, a DWI on the water carries the same penalties and fines as on the road and includes jail time, fines and loss of driving and boating operator privileges.

Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver's license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.  Also, each offense of operating a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated counts toward the total number of DWI crimes whether they happened on the water or road.

In Louisiana, a DWI can be issued to anyone operating a moving vessel or vehicle while impaired.  First offense DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.

Operation Dry Water was started in 2009 and is a joint program involving the LDWF/LED, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard.  More information is available at www.operationdrywater.org.

LDWF Agents Investigating Fatal Boating Incident in Tangipahoa Parish

Release Date: 06/02/2019

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents are investigating a fatal boating incident that occurred in Tangipahoa Parish on June 1.

The body of Freddie Richardson, 51, of Baton Rouge, was recovered from the Tickfaw River around 6 p.m.

According to the operator, Richardson was a passenger in a 19-foot fiberglass boat when they went over a wake causing their vessel to violently turn to the right.  Richardson was ejected into the water without wearing a personal flotation device.

His body was turned over to the Tangipahoa Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death.  LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.

LDWF, the Tangipahoa Sheriff’s Office, Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the Livingston Parish Fire Department participated in the search.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission January Meeting Moved to Jan. 8

Release Date: 12/26/2018

Dec. 26, 2018 – The January meeting of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission is being changed from Jan. 3 to Jan. 8. The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Joe L. Herring Room at Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters, 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.

The commission agenda will be released soon.

A public meeting for the Queen Bess Island Restoration Project for the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group will still be held Jan. 3 at 9:30 a.m. at LDWF headquarters in the Joe L. Herring Room. To view this meeting via webinar, register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2263988295841114625
 

LDWF Agents Conduct Successful Search and Rescue Mission

Release Date: 11/20/2018

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents performed a successful search and rescue mission of an overdue boater in Cameron Parish.

Agents received information about a kayaker that was overdue on the afternoon of Nov. 18 on the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge (NWR).  LDWF agents immediately conducted a search of the area and were able to find the missing 38-year-old Lake Charles resident around 9 a.m. on Nov. 19.

The man was found about a mile from the place he launched his kayak.  According to the kayaker, he went out duck hunting on the morning of Nov. 18 when he got lost and couldn’t find his way back to the launch.  He attempted to call for help but was unable to get service on his cell phone.

Agents were able to retrieve the man and his kayak and get him back to the launch where an ambulance transported him to the Cal Cam Hospital in Sulphur for treatment of mild hypothermia.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Coast Guard and Cameron Parish Sheriff’s Office also participated in the search.

LDWF Agents Investigating Fatal Boating Incident in Orleans Parish

Release Date: 11/18/2018

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents are investigating a fatal boating incident in Orleans Parish.

The bodies of Levi Slaughter Jr., 87, and his son Levi Slaughter III, 62, both of New Orleans, were recovered on Nov. 18 from Lake Pontchartrain.

Agents were notified about 2:45 p.m. on Nov. 18 of an unmanned 19-foot boat near Irish Bayou in Lake Pontchartrain.  LDWF agents along with the New Orleans Police Department and U.S. Coast Guard immediately conducted a search for the missing boaters.

First responders found the bodies near the unmanned vessel about 8:15 p.m.  According to family, the Slaughters had left to go fishing around 8 a.m. that morning.  It is unknown at this time what caused the men to enter the water.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.  Both men were found without wearing personal flotation devices.  The bodies were turned over to the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office to determine a cause of death.

LDWF Agents Rescue Father and Son in Vermilion Bay

Release Date: 11/05/2018

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents performed a successful search and rescue mission on Nov. 3 in Vermilion Bay.

LDWF agents were notified about two overdue boaters on board a vessel about 9 p.m. on Nov. 3.  The missing boaters were a 57-year-old father and his 10-year-old son both from Erath.

LDWF agents immediately began conducting search and rescue efforts in conjunction with U.S. Coast Guard and the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office to locate the missing boaters.

LDWF agents located the missing boat with both boaters safely inside the vessel on Nov. 4 around 1:25 a.m.  LDWF loaded the father and son onto their vessel and transported the boaters back to the dock where they were evaluated by Emergency Medical Services and released to go home.

Agents found out that the boat battery died leaving the two boaters in need of assistance.

Commission Adopts Notice of Intent for Registration of Houseboats

Release Date: 10/15/2018

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) approved a notice of intent that would establish rules governing the registration of houseboats.

Act 628 of the 2018 Regular Legislative Session requires the registration of houseboats upon Louisiana waters beginning Jan. 1, 2019.  The proposed rule clarifies which vessels qualify as houseboats requiring registration and establishes an application process.

The notice of intent states that every houseboat operated, occupied, inhabited, utilized, or otherwise deployed on the waters of this state must be registered with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and be properly numbered in accordance with R.S. 34:851.20.

Houseboats would be defined as any vessel constructed or utilized for the primary purpose of a temporary or permanent dwelling without an effective means of propulsion for safe navigation.

When determining whether a vessel meets the definition of a “houseboat”, the department shall utilize the standard such that a reasonable observer would conclude that the vessel is capable of being used as an abode, habitation, or dwelling for at least a temporary basis.

Such determination should involve, but is not limited to, whether the vessel has a roof and is enclosed, or has multiple walls or structures capable of protecting inhabitants from the elements.

Additional evidence that may be considered include the presence of doors, windows, electrical wiring, plumbing, appliances, cabinetry, bedding, or any other features commonly found in a dwelling. 

While registration of houseboats is mandatory beginning in 2019, titling of houseboats is optional.

Public comment on this notice of intent may be submitted to Major Rachel Zechenelly at rzechenelly@wlf.la.gov.

Syndicate content