COVINGTON, La. (WGNO) — Due to an expected increase in watercraft, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office Marine Division will be ramping up patrols over the Memorial Day weekend.
The STPSO has released the following safety regulations can help to keep people safe while out on the water:
- Adhere to the boat placard regarding capacity and weight
- Utilize navigation lights as required when operating between sunset and sunrise
- Have a PFD available for each occupant (proper size required)
- Make sure all children 16 and under are wearing a PFD while underway as required by law
- Ensure that anyone operating a tiller handle boat under 16 feet in length is wearing a motor shut off lanyard and a PFD while underway
- Obey the posted no wake zone signage and be aware that public boat launches and fuel docks are also no wake zones regardless of signage
- Ensure your vessel has the appropriate safety equipment required by law (sound making device, throw cushion/ring, flares, etc.)
- File a float plan with friends or family by letting them know where you launched/started your trip and when you expect to return
- Make sure that anyone operating a Personal Water Craft (jet ski) is 16 years of age and older and do not operate a Personal Water Craft (jet ski) after dark or before sunrise. This is illegal and very dangerous
- Ensure that those born after 1984 and operating a vessel or PWC have a boater safety card
- Do not drink and drive. Impaired driving applies to the water as it does the roadway
“We want everyone to have fun this Memorial Day weekend,” said STPSO Sheriff Randy Smith. “But we also want everyone to be safe.
“Please be careful when out on the water and do not consume alcohol if you are operating a watercraft or plan to be on the water, have the proper equipment, and do not operating your boat or your jet ski in an unsafe manner.”