Holiday boating safety rules


Thousands of people will celebrate the Fourth of July along local waterways. So the Caddo Sheriff’s Office wants to remind people of the rules and how to stay safe.

Marine Patrol will be out on the Red River enjoying the fireworks while checking for reckless boaters who can be ticketed. 

“Make sure that when you come out on the water you drive professionally. You drive correctly,” said Corporal Frank Edmondson, Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office.

He said first, make sure your boat is working properly and you have the right equipment. You don’t want a break-down to break-up your fun, but deputies will come get you.

“They’re more than welcome to call the Sheriff’s Office and we will tow them to the closest launch,” Edmondson said.

It’s also important to know the river. Pay attention to the channels and look out for the sand-bars. Also, life-jackets save lives and it’s law that you must have enough for everyone on board. 16-year-olds must have them on and fastened properly when the boat is moving. As far as alcohol, it’s the same as if you’re driving a car. 

“Point zero-eight is the legal limit. But if it’s lower than that and you’re involved in a wreck you still can be arrested for drinking while boating,” Edmondson said.

You can have open containers on the boat. But your boat driver cannot drink and must be the designated boater. 

“We want you to come out. We want you to have fun. But we want you to be safe,” Edmondson said.

The Red River will close at 9 p.m. Wednesday night between Texas Street and I-20 for the fireworks show so boaters won’t be able pass through that area during that time.

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