Officials remind boaters to be safe after tragic accident

Officials remind boaters to be safe after tragic accident
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Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - 4:31pm

Investigators are trying to get to the bottom of a boating accident that took the life of a Livingston Parish woman. State Wildlife and Fisheries agents said it happened on the Amite River Tuesday afternoon when the boat she was in hit a tree.

Officials said, 59-year-old Deborah Ledoux was enjoying a boat ride with her husband Richard when the accident happened. It was something they loved to do according to a friend of theirs. She told me when she heard about the accident, she was devastated.

Novia McNabb loves the water. She's spent most of her life, more than 60 years, at Pete Landing's Bait Shop.

But when her son told her about the accident that happened just a mile away, she was heartbroken.

"But he said he just turned his head and looked toward the woods, and the boat just lost control," McNabb said. "I don't know what to say or how to say that. I just thought it was so sad."

McNabb said the Ledouxs came to Pete's Landing ever so often, and they were never the type to do anything dangerous out there.

"My first thought was 'oh my goodness, how terrible, how sad!' There's nothing they were doing that caused it. I guess it did, but it wasn't anything bad because they weren't drinking. They were just running trout lines," McNabb explained.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Officials said it happened on the lower part of the Amite River near Killian.

McNabb said, people come in and out of her shop to go enjoy a day on the water, but she always reminds them to be safe.

"My son goes sometimes, but I worry about that. You never know what's going to happen when you go on a boat," McNabb said.

She does have some advice so people out there can stay safe.

"Be careful, and not to try to go so fast, and not to go drinking," McNabb said. "Just to be careful because boats are dangerous. They can be dangerous."

Last year, Louisiana saw a record low number of recreational boating deaths at 13, compared to an average of 25 in the three previous years. Authorities attribute the recent decline in large part to Louisiana's Mandatory Boating Education Class. Since 2003, more than 50,000 boaters have been certified.

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