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Residents gather for boating safety meeting after major accident on False River

Residents voiced concerns at a community meeting held on Saturday, August 14 in Pointe Coupee...
Residents voiced concerns at a community meeting held on Saturday, August 14 in Pointe Coupee Parish.(WAFB)
Published: Aug. 14, 2021 at 10:30 PM CDT
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POINTE COUPEE PARISH, La. (WAFB) - In Pointe Coupee Parish, folks say False River is known as their jewel, and a lot of people want to protect it making sure everyone on the river is staying safe. After a major accident where a driver of a party barge collided with three children on the river, members of the community are coming together demanding more safety protocols.

RELATED: Charges possible in False River accident

“I think a lot of people had this feeling it was just fragmented and unfortunately it took this event to bring us together, but if good comes out of bad, we’ve grown. So, that’s what I am hoping this will bring for all of here at False River,” says Monique Breaux, who lives along False River.

Some of the issues voiced from the crowd regarded how fast boats are going up and down the river and how close boaters are traveling next to the piers.

“We need the people on the river to help with that situation, operating a boat is no different than operating a vehicle. You have to abide by all safety rules and regulations,” says Sheriff Rene’ Thibodeaux.

Sheriff Thibodeau says they are planning to add more law enforcement out on the river, but he says it’s very hard for them to be in multiple places at once, especially since more folks are coming out.

“For those of us who have been here, they probably had our first bath in that river. A lot has changed and a lots has changed since the pandemic,” says Pointe Coupee Parish President Major Thibaut.

Thibaut says even though it’s great seeing more people on the river, the only issue is that folks are forgetting the basic safety protocol for boating, and it’s getting to be a problem. The river is state-owned, therefore the parish council says they are limited to how much they can enforce on the river. They are currently talking with legislators to see if they can put some laws in place that would make it safer.

“We want to look at that situation and grow from it, and having this meeting this weekend felt like something we needed to do,” adds Breaux.

One of the recommendations from the crowd was to put up boating laws on the piers or around businesses on the river just to remind folks before getting out on the water.

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