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Officials Conduct Boating Safety Checks

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nola.com
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The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries conducts boating safety checks along area waterways beginning this weekend.

The additional patrols are part of National Boating Safety Week, where boats are watercraft are randomly checked for proper safety guidelines.  

LDWF spokesperson Adam Einck says increased patrols are not intended to discourage boating activities.  "We want everyone to have fun, but be safe, and make sure safety devices like life jackets and fire extinguishers are on board," he said.

In 2014, Louisiana reported 18 boating fatalities.  This year, nine people have died in boating related accidents.  Einck says the early number has officials concerned.  

"The patrols will also remind everyone to have a sober operator.  DWI laws are the same whether you're on the road, or on the water."  Alcohol use is the leading cause of boating crashes and fatalities on the water.

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