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Police say DUI caused boat vs. jet ski crash on Ouachita River

Just like drivers in Louisiana must adhere to traffic laws, those who use our waterways are also required to follow certain rules. One of those rules is that the operator of a boat or other type of watercraft must be sober. Drunk boating is illegal and can be very dangerous for the intoxicated boater, his or her passengers, and others on the water. A recent accident on the Ouachita River shows just how dangerous drunk boating can be.

According to Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries a man was operating a jet ski while intoxicated. He had a passenger on the watercraft with him. As he tried to move around a bass boat on the Ouachita River, he crashed into it. There were two people on the bass boat at the time of the boat accident.

The incident smashed in the front of the jet ski and caused the boat to overturn. Although several people were injured, everyone was wearing a life jacket. Authorities said the accident could have been fatal if those involved weren't wearing the flotation devices.

The driver and passenger of the bass boat were hospitalized with injuries, but authorities expected they would be released after receiving medical care. The operator of the jet ski was charged with driving while intoxicated.

This unfortunate situation shows the importance of being safe on the water. Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries officials said that understanding who has the right of way is extremely important on our state's waterways. Just because there aren't the same markers and signs as there are on streets doesn't mean there are no rules on the water.

Source: KNOE, "Ouachita River boat crash update," Nolan Crane, Oct. 7, 2013

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