Officials remind boaters to stay safe while on the water this Memorial Day Weekend

ST. MARTIN PARISH, La. (KLFY) – Many Acadiana boaters will be hitting the water this Memorial Day Weekend.

“We all like to play on the water,” said St. Martin Parish Sheriff Lieutenant Terry Guidry, “but you have to be respectful and mindful of your neighbors.”

Residents love to spend Memorial Day Weekend on the water, but while you’re out on the boat, don’t forget the safety concerns you should always keep in mind.

“Inspect their vessels, make sure that they’re still in good condition, inspect all the state required safety equipment that they have,” said Wild Life and Fisheries Sargent Ryan Faul, “One of the most important things is a life jacket. Life jackets play a very important role in reducing the number of boating fatalities.”

Wild Life and Fisheries, as well as St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s officers, will be patrolling the Atchafalaya Basin.

According to Faul, if you are caught breaking any of the laws, you will face the consequences.

“DWI on the water is the exact same as DWI on the road,” he explains, “The penalties mirror each other. So, if you get arrested for DWI on the water you will lose your drivers license for a specified amount of time set forth by the judge.”

Parts of the parish are in a no wake zone, so Lt. Guidry wants to remind boaters to respect that.

“We really want people to be mindful, be respectful of the homeowners and the property damage that you do if you do cause a wake,” he said, “There’s places right now where we strictly enforcing a no-wake zone and you’ll be cited and you’ll be prosecuted.”

Make sure you have your life jacket, a designated operator, and of course have fun.

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