Boating

Region 7 Boating Course

Date: 
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - Thursday, March 27, 2014
Address: 

Manchac Fire House
30221 Old US-51
Akers, La 70421

City: 
Manchac
Notes: 

5 p.m. - 9 p.m. both nights.

Body of Central Man Recovered from Bayou Pigeon

Release Date: 12/22/2013

Search and rescue personnel from four different agencies and volunteers located the body of a Central man this morning, Dec. 22, in Bayou Pigeon in Iberia Parish.

Rescue personnel from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office, Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office along with countless volunteers found the body of Brent J. LeBlanc, 37, this morning around 8:30 a.m.

Rescuers received a call around 4 p.m. on Dec. 21 about a surface drive vessel floating in Bayou Pigeon about a mile southwest from the Bayou Pigeon landing.  LDWF agents and Sheriff Office deputies searched into the night until severe weather made them call off the search for the night.  They resumed the search at first light this morning.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating crash incident.  It is unknown at this time how LeBlanc got ejected from the vessel.  Investigators do not suspect alcohol was a factor at this time.  LeBlanc was found without a personal flotation device.

LeBlanc’s body was turned over to the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 226-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Region 6 Boating Course

Date: 
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Address: 

Terrebonne Parish Sheriffs Office
Rifle Range
Savanne Rd.
Houma, LA 70360

City: 
Houma
Notes: 

Class from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Louisiana Officer Receives NASBLA President’s Award

Release Date: 10/10/2013

NASBLA President Toby Velasquez and LDWF Capt. Spencer Cole

During its 54th annual conference, held in Boise, Idaho, Sept. 14-18, 2013, Toby Velasquez, president of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), presented a President’s Award to Capt. Spencer Cole with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, for his inspiring leadership of the organization’s Preparedness & Response Committee.

At the end of his/her term, the NASBLA President selects individuals to honor with this special recognition for their contributions during the past year to boating safety and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.

Under Capt. Cole’s leadership, the Preparedness & Response Committee has delivered exceptional value to NASBLA, always aware of the financial impact.  When appropriate, Capt. Cole deferred actual committee meetings in favor of a far more cost-effective virtual meeting, allowing the committee to remain productive and proactive.  Those cost savings leveraged limited resources and afforded his committee the opportunities to participate on a national stage in Washington when needed most.

“The Preparedness & Response Committee has been instrumental in several of NASBLA’s finest moments with regards to safety and security. Preparedness comes in many forms and this committee has played an important role in shaping national legislation and policy,” said Velasquez when presenting the award.

A few of the committee’s accomplishments include:

Congressional drafting assistance in the FEMA Port Security Grant Program;
FEMA and USCG accepted narrative within Port Security Grant applications;
Drafting assistance in support of the USCG Re-Authorization, regarding training;
First National Scholarship delivery of the Tactical Operators Course in Washington, D.C.; and
First memorandum of understanding between the USCG and NASBLA on National Training Standards.

Along the way Capt. Cole built new partnerships with NASBLA’s associates and partners from every corner of the maritime community. His committee has kept stakeholders informed of funding and training opportunities.

“We look upon Capt. Cole as a valued committee chair, always prepared and articulate in his delivery, a model for future NASBLA committee chairs to emulate,” added Velasquez.

About NASBLA

The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators is a national nonprofit organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety. NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories. NASBLA offers a variety of resources, including training, model acts, education standards and publications. Through a national network of thousands of professional educators, law enforcement officers and volunteers, the organization affects the lives of over 76 million American boaters. To learn more about how NASBLA continues to make the waterways safe, secure and enjoyable, visit http://www.nasbla.org.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2465 or NASBLA at 859-225-9487.

LDWF Names New Boating Law Administrator for Louisiana

Release Date: 08/15/2013

Capt. Rachel Zechenelly

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has appointed a new state Boating Law Administrator (BLA), which will represent Louisiana on the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).

Capt. Rachel Zechenelly, of Baton Rouge, is replacing Col. Jeff Mayne as Louisiana’s BLA after Col. Mayne stepped down from the position when he was promoted to the head of the LDWF Enforcement Division in June.

“I’m honored to be named Louisiana’s Boating Law Administrator as we strive to make our waterways safer for everyone to enjoy,” said Capt. Zechenelly.  “We’ve made a lot of progress in making boating a safer experience and we will continue to look at ways to make it even safer in the future.”

Capt. Zechenelly also said she will expand education outreach programs to paddle sports due to a significant increase in people kayaking, paddle boarding and canoeing.

Capt. Zechenelly is originally from Pearl River and joined the LDWF Enforcement Division in 1999.  Capt. Zechenelly started as an agent working out of the New Orleans office where she primarily handled fishery patrols and boating safety enforcement on the water including on the coast and Gulf of Mexico.

Capt. Zechenelly was assigned to LDWF Enforcement Division’s Headquarters Staff in 2005 in Baton Rouge as the boating education coordinator.  In May of 2011, she was promoted to captain and put in charge of LDWF’s Boating Safety Enforcement and Waterways Management.  She currently oversees the Enforcement Division’s marine theft investigations, boating crash incident investigations, and the statewide boating safety education program.

“I have the utmost confidence in Capt. Zechenelly’s ability and experience to spearhead our boating safety programs,” said Col. Jeff Mayne.  “She has led our boating education program almost from the beginning and is familiar with NASBLA’s training curriculum and key personnel.”

Capt. Zechenelly has participated and coordinated the Enforcement Division’s emergency response for Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike and Isaac, the BP Oil Spill in 2010, and the Mississippi River Spring 2011 Flood event.

Capt. Zechenelly completed the U.S. Coast Guard’s Marine Patrol Officer Course and the month long National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Law Enforcement Training Program.  She also completed the NASBLA Comprehensive Boating Accident Investigation and Analysis Course.

NASBLA is a national nonprofit organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety. NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories.

NASBLA’s mission is to strengthen the ability of the state and territorial boating authorities to reduce death, injury and property damage associated with recreational boating and ensure a safe, secure and enjoyable boating environment.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Golden Meadow Man Dies from Injuries in Boating Incident

Release Date: 07/24/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are investigating a fatal boating crash incident that occurred in Lafourche Parish this morning, July 24.

Richard Griffin Jr., 29, of Golden Meadow, was travelling north in Bayou Lafourche alone in his 16 foot vessel around 5:15 a.m. when he struck a piling.  Griffin Jr. sustained severe head trauma from his collision with the piling.

Griffin Jr. was taken to Lady of the Sea Hospital in Galliano and then transported to University Hospital in New Orleans where he was pronounced dead.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating crash incident.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Vessel Operator Arrested for DWI after Boating Crash Incident on Natalbany River that Severely Injured Six-Year-Old Girl

Release Date: 07/11/2013

July 11, 2013 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents today, July 11, arrested a Vicksburg, Miss. man for his alleged role as an operator of a vessel during a boating crash incident that severely injured a six-year-old girl on the Natalbany River.

Agents arrested Anthony Domiono, 40, for operating or driving a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) with two children under 12 years of age, two counts of negligent injury, and reckless operation of a vessel and booked him into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail.

The boating crash incident occurred around 4:45 p.m. on June 9 when Domiono was operating a 22-foot-ski boat that had five passengers while towing a tube with two juveniles crashed into a tree along the bank of the Natalbany River in Tangipahoa Parish.  The incident happened about three miles upstream from where the river merges with the Tickfaw River.

After receiving a call from dispatch, LDWF agents arrived on scene and immediately called for a helicopter to transport a six-year-old girl.  The six-year-old-girl was in the boat at the time of the collision with the tree and suffered major head trauma and needed immediate attention.

The helicopter took the girl to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge where she was listed in critical condition.  The girl has since been discharged from the hospital and it is hopeful she can make a full recovery.

Domiono suffered a broken foot and the other five passengers were treated for minor injuries.

As standard procedure agents took blood from the operator to determine if the operator was impaired.  After receiving the blood test results, it was determined that Domiono had a blood alcohol content (BAC) higher than the legal limit of .08 BAC.

DWI brings a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Negligent injury carries up to a $1,000 fine and six months of jail per each count.  Reckless operation brings a $200 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

Sgt. Randy Lanoux is the lead investigative agent for this boating crash incident.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Agents Participating in Operation Dry Water this Weekend June 28-30

Release Date: 06/26/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division (LDWF/LED) agents will take part in Operation Dry Water from June 28-30 with increased patrols for boaters operating or driving a boat while intoxicated (DWI) enforcement and boating safety.

During the Operation Dry Water weekend, LDWF agents will be out in force patrolling state waterways for boat operators whose blood alcohol content exceeds the state limit of .08 percent.

"Alcohol is always one of the largest contributing factors for boating fatalities in Louisiana and nationwide," said Capt. Rachel Zechenelly, LDWF’s state Boating Law Administrator.  "We want people to have fun on the water, but we also want them to have a sober operator of the vessel for the safety of those in the vessel and everybody else on the water.”

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.

Louisiana had 25 boating fatalities in 2012 with alcohol playing a role in six fatalities or 24 percent.  Nationwide, statistics from 2012 reveal that 17 percent of all boat incident fatalities listed alcohol as a contributing factor.

LDWF agents issued five DWI citations to boat operators during the 2012 Operation Dry Water weekend and 10 DWI citations over the same weekend in 2011.

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 with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.  First offense DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Second offense DWI brings a $750 to $1,000 fine and between 30 days and six months in jail.  Third offense DWI carries a $5,000 fine and between one and five years 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.

For more information, please contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Six Year Old Girl in Critical Condition after Boating Incident on Natalbany River

Release Date: 06/10/2013

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents are investigating a boating incident that took place on the Natalbany River in Tangipahoa Parish on June 9.

Around 4:45 p.m. a 22 foot ski boat that had five passengers while towing a tube with two juveniles crashed into a tree along the bank of the Natalbany River.  The incident happened about three miles upstream from where the river merges with the Tickfaw River.

After receiving a call from dispatch, LDWF agents arrived on scene and immediately called for a helicopter to transport a six year old girl.  The six year old girl was in the boat at the time of the collision with the tree and suffered major head trauma and needed immediate attention.  The helicopter took the girl to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge where she is still listed in critical condition.

The operator of the vessel suffered a broken foot and the other five passengers were treated for minor injuries.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating crash incident.  As standard procedure agents took blood from the operator to determine if the operator was impaired.  It takes up to four weeks to receive the blood test results from the lab.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

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