Instructors from the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators will be giving free instruction in Opelousas this May 12th from 9a.m. to 5 p.m.  During the event, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will offer the NASBLA boating education certification, food and drinks along with door prizes with giveaways free of charge.  Certification is needed for operating a boat under certain condition.  Their press release says, “Anybody born after January 1, 1984 must complete a NASBLA approved boating education course and carry proof of completion to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.”

Lt. Colonel Jeff Mayne who is the State’s Boating Law Administrator, “We want to make this annual event as we heard nothing but positive feedback from the participants in last year’s Lagniappe Day”.  He says, “Boating Education Lagniappe Day is the perfect opportunity for those in need of a boating education certification and those that want to learn about boating safety. We want to make the day fun and educational”.

Education that day will center on a variety of issues including how to pick a boat, classification, motors, legal requirement and equipment needs.  They will also instruct participants on navigation rules and charts, how to pick and use a trailer and how to use a canoe or watercraft.  When you pass the class you will receive a vessel operators certification card.

"Boating education has been a proven method to reduce fatalities on the water over time," said Captain Rachel Zechenelly, LDWF's Boating Safety Coordinator. "Since more and more of the boating public will fall into the mandatory age for certification, we will eventually reach a point where everyone that wants to boat in this state will have their boating education certificate making the waterways more enjoyable and safer."

The Acadiana class will be held at the St. Landry Lumber Company on May 12th.  St. Landry Lumber Company is located at 207 North Railroad Ave in Opelousas.  You can register by visiting www.wlf.louisiana/gov/lagniappeday or by calling 337-948-0257.  Early registration is suggested as it fills up very quickly due to the popularity of the problem, and registration is on a first come first serve basis.