Staying safe on the water: National Boat Safety Week - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Staying safe on the water: National Boat Safety Week

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CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) -

The National Safe Boating Council says that 80 percent of boating fatalities happen because the driver did not have proper safety training.

Right now, we're in National Boat Safety Week, promoted by the National Weather Service and the NSBC.

Here on the Red River, the Caddo Parish Marine Unit watches over boaters and sees a lot of the same mistakes this time of year.

"They need to service that boat, then come out here and put it in the water, and it won't run, the batteries are dead," said Sgt. Alan Davidson, describing one of the common trip ups for boating aficionados.

Davidson advises boaters to always let someone know where you're going to be.

"If you're going to the Red River, and you're going to be around the Jimmie Davis Bridge, that little sand bar down there, then tell family and friends," he said.

Whether you're prepared or not, boaters hopeful of being out on the Red River this holiday weekend may be out of luck. The public ramps are closed due to high water.

"We checked the number, right now, we're at 19.6 feet," Davidson said.

Normal stage for the Red River is 14 feet, but the good news for boaters is that public ramps can re-open if the river drops to 18 feet.

"If it drops below 18, the waterway commission says they're going to try to get out here and clean it up, so we can get people out here," Davidson said. "But if it stays above 18, then it'll still be closed Monday."

Here are a few boating laws to touch up on:

  • Life jackets are required for anyone 16 and younger.
  • Be sure that your boat's registration is up to date.
  • You can drink and drive your boat, as long as your blood alcohol content level is below the legal limit of .08.

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