Louisiana is well-known for its waterways as well as the many boating enthusiasts who navigate these waters for recreation along with family members and friends. Since Louisiana waterways can become fairly crowded, the state has implemented certain rules, which are similar to the traffic rules that we follow while driving a motor vehicle on Louisiana roads. The purpose of these rules of operation is to insure the safety of boaters while they are on Louisiana waterways.
According to existing boating laws in Louisiana, every vessel in the state must comply with the rules of operation. However, in certain exceptional cases, the law has provisions for departures from the rules of operation. In those cases, the incident report must clearly mention this deviation and the reason behind it. The law also makes it clear that any violation of the rules of operation is considered prima-facie evidence that indicates the reckless or careless operation of a boat.
Like traffic rules, Louisiana has a set of rules that govern the movement of boats on waterways. However, there are certain dissimilarities between them because of the different surfaces where these vehicles operate. These rules cover how a boat is allowed to travel, how a boat can overtake another, what to do when overtaking and yielding and precisely what the responsibilities of the boat operator or owner are. The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website has all of the details.
In spite of the existence of such detailed rules and regulations, boating accidents are often reported in the news. One of the major causes for such mishaps is operating the boat while under the influence of alcohol. Additionally, there may be other reasons behind a boating accident and if those reasons clearly indicate that another boater is at fault for an accident, it may be wise to learn more about legal options in order to understand the various available remedies a boating accident victim has in Louisiana.
Source: WLF.Louisiana.gov, “Rules of the Road for Vessels,” Accessed on March 5, 2015