LDWF urges boaters to be safe on Red River during the 4th of Jul - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

LDWF urges boaters to be safe on Red River during the 4th of July weekend


 The Red River will be packed with boaters for the weekend of July 4th and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement division wants boaters to exercise all the safety precautions.

The July 4th weekend is one of the busiest weekends for enforcement agents. There can be up to 200 boaters on the Red River for the holiday.

Boating or water accidents are often seen when the river is full for such holidays and enforcement agents want to make sure boaters are prepared before heading out on the Red.

"Remember to use the rules of the road when on the water," Sgt. Troy Parker with LDWF said.

Boat drivers should travel on the right side of the river and be respectful of other boaters. 

One of the big must-haves on board are the life vests. There must be a life vest on the boat for each passenger.

"It's all about safety," Sgt. Parker said. "We just ask [boaters] understand that we're doing our job. We're trying to keep everyone safe in an organized deal. Careless operation and wreckless operation, boat accidents happen and you will be cited for any rules of the road you break."

With that, one thing that is allowed is alcohol. Just make sure there is a designated driver.

Sgt. Parker wants to remind boaters that if the driver is also drinking, don't be surprised if an enforcement officer stops you, tickets you and takes you to jail for DWI.

"We're not out here to cause them to have a bad time, we're out here to make sure they're safe and everything stays organized and under control," he said.

For those who may celebrate along the river bank or on the sandbars, Sgt. Parker said if there's any hesitation to get in the water or if the person isn't a strong swimmer, especially small children, wearing a life vest can help keep he or she safe.

For more information on boating rules and regulations, you can visit the LDWF website by clicking here.

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