§851.24. Classification and required equipment
A. Motorboats and vessels subject to the provisions of this Part shall be divided into four classes as follows:
(1) Class A. Less than sixteen (16) feet in length.
(2) Class 1. Sixteen (16) feet or over and less than twenty-six (26) feet in length.
(3) Class 2. Twenty-six (26) feet or over and less than forty (40) feet in length.
(4) Class 3. Forty (40) feet or over.
B. Every motorboat or vessel when underway in all weather from sunset to sunrise shall carry and exhibit the following lights and during such time no other lights which may be mistaken for those prescribed shall be exhibited:
(1) Every motorboat or vessel of Class A and 1 shall carry the following lights:
(a) First. A bright white light aft to show all around the horizon.
(b) Second. A combined lantern in the fore part of the vessel and lower than the white aft showing green to starboard and red to port so fixed as to throw the light from right ahead to two points abaft the beam on their respective sides.
(2) Every motorboat or vessel of Classes 2 and 3 shall carry the following lights:
(a) First. A bright white light in the fore part of the vessel as near the stern as practicable so constructed as to show an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of twenty points of the compass and so fixed as to throw the light ten points on each side of the vessel, namely from right ahead to two points abaft the beam on either side.
(b) Second. A bright white light aft to show all around the horizon and higher than the white light forward.
(c) Third. On the starboard side, a green light so constructed as to show an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of ten points of the compass and so fixed as to throw the light from right ahead to two points abaft the beam on the starboard side. On the port side, a red light so constructed as to show an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of ten points of the compass so fixed as to throw the light from right ahead to two points abaft the beam on the port side. The side lights shall be fitted with inboard screens of sufficient height so set as to prevent these lights from being seen across the bow.
(3) Motorboats and vessels of Classes A and 1 when propelled by sail alone shall carry the combined lanterns but not the white light aft prescribed by this Section. Motorboats and vessels of Classes 2 and 3 when so propelled shall carry the suitably screened colored side lights, but not the white lights prescribed by this Section. Motorboats and vessels of all classes when underway shall carry ready at hand a lantern or flashlight showing a white light which shall be exhibited in sufficient time to avert collision.
(4) All motorboats anchored in navigable waterways of this state shall exhibit a white three hundred and sixty degree stern light between the hours of sunset to sunrise. This light shall be the highest such light to be exhibited.
(5) Every white light prescribed by this Section shall be of such character as to be visible at a distance of at least two miles. Every colored light prescribed by this Section shall be of such character as to be visible at a distance of at least one mile. The word "visible" in this Subsection when applied to lights shall mean visible on a dark night with clear atmosphere.
(6) When propelled by sail and machinery any motorboat shall carry the lights required by this Section for a motorboat propelled by machinery only.
C. Any vessel may carry and exhibit the lights required by the federal regulations for preventing collisions at sea, as set forth in 33 U.S.C. 1602, Rule 20 through 31, as amended, in lieu of the lights required by Subsection B of this Section.
D. Every motorboat or vessel of Class 1, 2, or 3, shall be provided with an efficient whistle or other sound-producing mechanical appliance.
E. Every motorboat or vessel of Class 2 or 3 shall be provided with an efficient bell.
F.(1) Every motorboat or vessel shall carry at least one life preserver, life belt, ring buoy, or other device of the sort prescribed by the regulations of the commission for each person on board so placed as to be readily accessible; however, every owner or operator of motorboats carrying passengers for hire shall provide and carry so placed as to be readily accessible at least one life preserver of the sort prescribed by the regulations of the commission for each person on board.
(2) Every person sixteen years or younger on board a Class A or Class 1 motorboat or vessel shall wear a coast guard approved life jacket or life preserver while such outboard motorboat or vessel is underway. However, the provisions of this Paragraph shall not apply to persons thirteen years of age or older while engaged in commercial fishing operations on commercial fishing vessels.
(3) For the purpose of this Subsection "underway" shall mean at all times except when a boat is anchored, moored, aground or is being propelled solely by an electric trolling motor.
(4) The operator of the boat shall be responsible and held liable for violations of this Subsection.
G. Every motorboat shall be provided with such number, size, and type of fire extinguishers, capable of promptly and effectually extinguishing burning gasoline, as may be prescribed by the regulations of the commission. Such fire extinguishers shall be kept in condition at all times for immediate and effective use and shall be so placed as to be readily accessible.
H. Every motorboat shall have the carburetor or carburetors of every engine therein, except outboard motors, using gasoline as fuel equipped with such efficient flame arrestor, backfire trap, or other similar device as may be prescribed by the regulations of the commission.
I. Every such motorboat and every such vessel, except open boats, using as fuel any liquid of a volatile nature shall be provided with such means as may be prescribed by the regulations of the commission for properly and efficiently ventilating the bilges of the engine and fuel tank compartments so as to remove any explosive or inflammable gases.
J.(1) All tugs, towboats, self-propelled dredges, jack-up barges, jack-up rigs, and all self-propelled vessels of one hundred net tons or greater, or one hundred feet in overall length or greater, and all vessel flotillas of one hundred aggregate net tons or greater operating on Lake Pontchartrain, shall be equipped with, and shall have operating on board transmitting and receiving devices compatible and appropriate for use with the Loran C Early Warning System. If a vessel as defined in this Subsection does not have such equipment as required by this Subsection, and if that vessel is under contract, the individual or entity which hires the vessel shall be responsible for ensuring that the transmitting and receiving devices required herein are provided and operating aboard the vessel while the vessel is operating on Lake Pontchartrain. Upon establishment of an improved system to protect the Causeway Bridge from marine collision, the Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission may suspend or abolish the requirement that vessels have aboard the Loran C equipment required by this Paragraph.
(2) Except as required to navigate through the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge openings on such course and upon such directions as may be given by the causeway bridge tender, or except as hereafter provided in this Subsection, no tug, towboat, self-propelled dredge, jack-up barge, jack-up rig, barge, self-propelled vessel of one hundred net tons or greater, or one hundred feet in overall length or greater, or vessel flotilla of one hundred aggregate net tons or greater shall enter, navigate, moor, or anchor in any manner within a "prohibited zone".
(3) Notwithstanding Paragraph (2) of this Subsection, nothing shall prevent vessels owned or hired by the United States of America or any department of the United States, or the state of Louisiana, or any department, agency or political subdivision of the state of Louisiana from entering the prohibited zone, for any official purpose consistent with the laws of the United States and the state of Louisiana.
(4)(a) Notwithstanding Paragraph (2) of this Subsection, privately owned vessels otherwise prohibited from entering the prohibited zone may enter the prohibited zone to exercise such property rights as they may have, or to conduct such other lawful business, but only upon receiving written approval of the Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission under such conditions as the expressway commission may see fit to impose.
(b) The Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission, or its designated representative shall meet with the applicant and any other interested parties within ninety days of the filing of such a petition with the Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission to consider the petition. Within thirty days from the date of such meeting, the Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission or its designated representative, may either allow such activity under such conditions as it determines is appropriate, or disallow such activity. The Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission shall establish and afterwards amend, as necessary, such guidelines as may be necessary for filing, hearing, and acting upon such petitions.
(c) In the event such approval is denied, or in the event the party is not agreeable to such conditions as the Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission may impose, the party desiring to undertake such vessel activity may petition the state district court possessed of jurisdiction over the location where the vessel activity is to take place, for permission to conduct such activity. The Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission shall be made defendants in such an action. In considering such a petition, the district court may allow such activity, but only upon making a determination with reasons stated in open court and on the record, or as set forth in a written order, that such activity may take place without threatening the causeway bridge or persons and property lawfully traveling on the causeway bridge. Where such vessel activity is allowed by the court, the court: (i) shall impose on such vessels and their owners, charterers, operators and other parties hiring such vessels or associated with such vessel activity, at the sole expense of the party seeking to conduct such activity, such conditions as are necessary to assure that such vessels are monitored and manned at all times and such other conditions as the court may find necessary to assure that the causeway bridge, and persons and property traveling on the causeway bridge, are not threatened; (ii) shall require the party desiring to conduct such activity to post bond in the amount necessary to assure full compliance with the court's order; and (iii) shall require the party conducting such activity to post a bond or to maintain liability insurance coverage fully protecting the operator, the state, and the Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission from all liabilities that reasonably may be anticipated as a result of such activity. Any party to such a court proceeding may appeal the district court's order to the court of appeals with jurisdiction over the district court in which the action was filed in accordance with the procedure for appealing injunction orders. However, no such vessel activity shall take place until such appeal has been decided, or until the time for taking all appeals has run without any appeal having been taken.
(5) Nothing in this Subsection shall prevent any vessel from entering the prohibited zone in an emergency to protect against loss of life or property.
K. The commission is hereby authorized to make rules and regulations modifying the equipment requirements contained in this Section to the extent necessary to keep these requirements in conformity with the provisions of the federal navigation laws or with the navigation rules promulgated by the United States Coast Guard.
L. No person shall operate or give permission for the operation of a vessel which is not equipped as required by this Section or modification thereof.
M. Such additional equipment designed to promote the safety of navigation and of person shall be required as the commission may find to be appropriate and for which it has provided in its rules and regulations.
Acts 1984, No. 288, §1; Acts 1988, No. 508, §1; Acts 1988, No. 552, §1, eff. July 14, 1988; Acts 2009, No. 513, §2.
NOTE: See Acts 1988, No. 552, §2.