Every year thousands of people head out on to the lakes, bays and bayous of Louisiana and every year many of them don't come back alive. It's not that boating is particularly dangerous, you just need to know what you are doing out on the water. That's why the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries holds boater education classes this time year.

If you're novice boater or a seasoned old salt, there is always something new to learn when it comes to keeping  yourself, your passengers and your craft safe on the water. Besides it is the law that you take and pass a boater education course to be certified to operate certain watercraft on state patrolled waters.

The next couple of weeks will offer boaters several chances to take these  courses, get certification and be legal and better prepared in the event of an emergency. Don't take water safety for granted, we want you to have fun but we want you back on shore alive and well.