Officials share boating safety tips after fatal incident on Cross Lake

Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 3:44 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - On Sunday, July 10, a Shreveport man died after a boating incident on Cross Lake.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries said 52-year-old Elvis Edwards was on a jet ski with a passenger when he made a turn and fell into the water. Although Edwards was wearing an inflatable life jacket, officials say it did not deploy and he went underwater.

KSLA spoke with the Shreveport Police Department for how to properly prepare before you participate in water activities.

“Ensure that your life jacket is properly rated for the activities you’re going to engage in. Have a familiarity with the boat that you are going to be on, your surroundings,” Cpl. Mason Guy said. “Have yourself mentally prepared if you were to have a critical incident so that you can avoid a bit of that fear, that anxiety that sets in when the unknown occurs.”

He said it’s also important to make sure your life jackets is in good, working condition before hitting the water.

The LDWF has a list of several types of life jackets to wear for different water activities. Jeremy Triplett with the department said a non-inflatable full chest life jacket is what’s recommended for jet skiing.

“Never use an inflatable when you’re on a jet ski because it’s going to inflate while you’re just riding on a jet ski. That is not the proper life jacket for jet skis,” he said.

Lastly, Guy said it’s best to always be prepared for the unexpected.

“I would hope that the person that can’t render sufficient aid to help has a cellphone, has a means of communication to reach out. Being comfortable in a sense of knowing that you can respond, that you’ve got the training to prep for it. You know your vessel. You know the people who get on the boat with you. Do they know how to swim? What is their comfort level? Keeping that in mind.”

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