Free boating education course set for Saturday

By Special to the American Press

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ third annual Boating Education Lagniappe Day is scheduled for 9 a.m. to

5 p.m. Saturday in the Contraband Room of the Lake Charles Civic Center.

The course includes information on

choosing a boat, classification, hulls, motors, legal requirements and

equipment requirements.

Food, drinks, giveaways and door prizes will also be provided at the event, which is free to the public.

Anybody born after Jan. 1, 1984 must complete a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators-approved boating

education course and carry proof of completion to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.

“Boating Education Lagniappe Day is the

perfect opportunity for those in need of a boating education

certification and those

that want to learn about boating safety,” said Lt. Col. Jeff

Mayne, the state’s Boating Law Administrator. “We want to make

the day fun and educational at the same time and everything will

be offered completely free.”

The course will also cover navigation rules and charts, trailering, sailboats, canoeing, personal watercraft and more. Students

who completion of the course will be issued a vessel operators certification card.

LDWF officials said studies have shown that states with a mandatory boating education program have fewer fatal boating incidents

than states that have no such requirement. Louisiana’s program began in 2003 and has certified over 50,000 boaters.

For more information or to register,

contact the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Lake Charles

office at 337-491-2580

or 337-491-2588 or go to www.wlf.louisiana.gov/lagniappeday

Space is limited and registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Local sponsors for the Boating

Education Lagniappe Day are the Calcasieu Parish Chapter of Whitetails

Unlimited and the Calcasieu

Parish Sheriff’s Office.

“The donation from Whitetails Unlimited is a significant contribution to Lagniappe Day and will greatly enhance the programs overall chance of success,” said Stuart Guillory, with the LDWF’s Lake Charles office.

Statewide sponsors are the Louisiana Wildlife Agents Association, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Pizza Hut and Cabela’s.