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Ordinances in place for businesses along Amite River following drownings at Tiki Tubing business last year

1 month 1 week 11 hours ago Thursday, May 19 2022 May 19, 2022 May 19, 2022 8:10 AM May 19, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

DENHAM SPRINGS - Families and residents in Livingston Parish are ramping up summer plans. This comes after a deadly summer last year, with dozens of water rescues along the Amite River.

New changes are in place as swimmers start to head out to the water. The Livingston Parish Council unanimously passed a new ordinance in October for stricter safety measures on the Amite River following the tragic deaths that happened at Tiki Tubing.

Keith Hilliard drowned during a tubing trip over Father's Day weekend last year. His wife, Lisa Hilliard, says she and her family were not given the opportunity to know of the hazards along the river last summer.

Now the ordinance includes new signage along the waterways to help emergency services pinpoint certain areas on the river. Businesses are also required to show an educational safety video to customers and must provide life jackets, though they are not mandatory to wear.

If businesses refuse to follow these new rules, they will be shut down.

"[The ordinance] becomes law," explained Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks, "So if a business doesn't adhere to the ordinance, then yes, we have grounds to shut them down. Because of the tragedies we have had happened during the years, I think the ordinances are a good step in the right direction."

WBRZ reached out to Tiki Tubing for comment on its plans for the upcoming summer season and it has not responded.

The business did, however, post on its Facebook page that it is still planning to re-open on Friday, May 27th, even after recent accusations of the owner being arrested for sexual battery and facing a wrongful death lawsuit following the drownings that took place last year.

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