We get news releases from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries every week. Most are about meetings, weed spraying on state lakes, etc. But the past month there have been some really disturbing news releases. And the trend is not good. With more and more people getting on the water, please make sure and always put boat safety first. Here’s why. The excerpts below are self-explanatory:
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents and rescue crews found the body of a River Ridge man around 1:30 p.m. today (May 9) following a single boat incident in Rattlesnake Bayou in Plaqumines Parish. Rescuers recovered the body of Gary Folks, 61, near where he entered the water after getting ejected from his vessel. According to the surviving passenger the two men were cruising in Rattlesnake Bayou when Folks lost steering control and the boat took a violent turn ejecting both men into the water. The passenger was able to get away from the unmanned circling boat and make it to shore. He never saw what happened to Folks.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents recovered the body of a Denham Springs man this morning (May 7) near the Bayou Sorrell locks in the Intracoastal Canal in Iberville Parish. LDWF agents along with the Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office (IPSO) and the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office began searching for James L. Haley, 61, on May 1 around 10:30 p.m. Haley’s body was found around 10:15 a.m. about 12 miles south of Plaquemine and 9 miles downstream from where he fell from a houseboat in Grand River.
Search and rescue officials recovered the body of a Prairieville man from Bayou Manchac in Ascension Parish this morning (May 1). Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division (LDWF) agents and Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office (APSO) deputies found the body of Allen Fitzgerald, 23, at approximately 8:05 a.m.
According to the passenger in the front of the boat, the two men were out boating in a 12-foot bateau with a six horsepower engine, the night of April 27. They were travelling on Bayou Manchac about three to four miles upstream from the Amite River when they began taking on water. The front passenger was able to jump in the water before the boat sank. Fitzgerald was in the back of the boat when it was taking on water and was not seen after the boating incident. The passenger was able to make it to shore and to a house where he called 911 for help.
Drive safe. Even if you can swim like a fish, wear your life jacket when the boat is in motion. Practice boating safety every time on the water. Encourage others to do the same.