Water Vessel Operation



a. Operators shall be responsible for visually checking the water vessel for safety prior to placing it in motion. Each vessel’s safety features should be checked before use each day, using the checklist provided by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS).

b. Department supervisors shall be responsible for assuring that fluid levels and safety equipment are checked at least weekly for vessels used on a routine basis. Other vehicles should be checked before each use.

Employees and others authorized to operate water vessels on state business shall be trained in the water vessel safety course, and have their Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries’ vessel operation records checked in accordance with the LSU Water Vessel Safety Program.

Accidents in state vessels and in personal vessels being used for state purposes shall be reported as soon as possible to the appropriate supervisor.

a. A float plan shall be developed and shared/discussed with the supervisor and other agencies as appropriate for the trip.

b. Speed limits and wake production considerations shall be observed by operators at all times.

c. Water vessels shall not be operated in excess of load and passenger ratings.

d. State and federal laws and regulations shall be followed at all times during operation of water vessels.

e. Personal flotation devices shall be worn by operator and passengers while the water vessel is in transit and during activities where the potential for drowning exists due to unintentional entry into the water.

f. Operators and passengers shall be cognizant at all times of the potential for fires and explosions aboard the water vessel. Activities which involve ignition sources and flammable materials shall be conducted in a safe manner.

g. Operation in threatening and dangerous weather shall be performed only as necessary and only with the express permission of the supervisor or in emergency situations.

The L.S.U. Safe Vessel Operation Program shall be followed by all employees and can be found in the appendix.