Wednesday, August 24, 2016


One of the big stories to come out of the Louisiana floods last week is the story of the Cajun Navy, a loosely-knit group of individuals who used their own boats, time, money, and effort to rescue hundreds of people who were trapped in the monumental floods of last week.

These folks showed the value of self-reliance, neighborliness, good-hearted community service. T hey saw a need and stepped in to help without any expectation of recompense.  They were hugely successful.  Their efforts were hugely successful and they should be applauded.  They saved hundred, if not thousands of people from discomfort, danger, and possibly death.  We'll never know how many lives they saved, because all those people are still alive.

But, one jackassical state lege wants to regulate them.  I kid you not.
That’s exactly what State Sen. Jonathan Perry (R-Kaplan) wants to do in the next legislative session. In order to “prevent boaters from being turned away” by state agencies, he wants to mandate that the “Cajun Navy” of private boat owners to be trained and certified in search and rescue.
What a despicable jackass.  You can't legislate people helping people, and as a Republican, you shouldn't want to. But that's not good enough for Perry.  He's all about regulation and certification.  Oh, and while we're at it, Perry wants them to pay a fee for the certification.  Yeah, a fee.
Republican State Senator Jonathan Perry of the Vermillion, Lafayette area, is working on legislation that could require training, certificates and a permit fee to allow these Good Samaritans to get past law enforcement into devastated areas. He said some were turned away.
Perry wants people to pay money to government and get certified before they take part in a vital life-saving effort with their own boats, effort, fuel, and time.  He wants to regulate people trying to help other people.

I'm going to make this point here:  Many Louisianans own boats and spend dozens of hours a month in their pleasure craft.  Many others make their livings in boats, on the water, in the bayous, sloughs and lakes of our wonderful state.  For years, Louisiana has required a boater's course certificate to operate pleasure craft.  It's free.

The Cajun Navy did a magnificent job, stepping up and helping out in the hours and days in the early part of the event, before other resources could get on the ground.  These guys hooked up their boats, went to the affected areas and started pulling folks out of the water.  The legislature should not try to regulate the efforts of volunteers who use their own resources to help fellow Louisianans in a natural disaster.

Perry is a complete and total jackass.


Anonymous said...

One point in his reasoning for doing this was to give them some "legitimacy" to get past police barriers. That probably would help in the future. My friend lived in Cape Coral when Charlie hit there. His elderly aunt and the widow of a friend who died very young lived on Sanibel Island and he was not allowed over there to help them since he was not a licensed contractor. Part of that was protection for the residents from looters and unscrupulous "contractors" doing shoddy work. So requiring some "permitting" would help reduce that issue somewhat.

Beyond that, this idea is a waste. Good intentions I'm sure but so are a lot of other laws that have been passed.

Old 1811 said...

Will the training indemnify them against frivolous lawsuits arising from their rescue efforts?
Some states indemnify properly trained Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers against lawsuits arising from proper application of the techniques they've been trained in.
If this legislation includes indemnification and the "legitimacy" mentioned above, it might be worthwhile. Otherwise, it's just another money scam.

Mad Jack said...

Louisiana probably needs some kind of Good Samaritan law, with a clause that allows people like this to pass police barricades. There should be no fee, licensing, or training required. The vast majority of the people on the water who will do something like this already know what they're doing and how to help someone - like giving a stranded family a ride to dry ground, along with their dog or cat. Official rescuers are notorious for leaving the family dog behind while forcing the family to be 'rescued'.

Rescue me from a flood, and I'll thank you and buy you a drink. Rescue the old ball and chain, and I'll fill the tank on your pickup and boat, and I'll buy you a drink. But if you rescue my dog, all you have to do is pick up the phone and dial, and I'll drop whatever I'm doing to help you out as best as I can - and I'll bring food, friends, and cash with me.

Old NFO said...

His ass needs to be recalled... period!

Pawpaw said...

Louisiana has a Good Samaritan law that covers medical personnel (medical doctors, nurses, EMTs and veterinarians) who render aid in good faith during an emergency.

If this was truly a 100-year flood in that area, we've seen the last of the Cajun Navy. They did their thing, rendered aid and assistance, and they'll pass into history and legend. We certainly don't need a law for that.

kamas716 said...

God forbid we ever have a Dunkirk situation. We'd lose the war because of paper pushers.