Should Louisiana's Citizen Rescue Fleet, "Cajun Navy," Face Government Regulation?

Not long ago I reported on the brave Louisiana residents who used their own boats and supplies, set out to rescue their fellow flood victims, and all without government involvement. They outperformed the government so well, in fact, that many were saved, fed, and received medical attention long before any government entity arrived. It’s a testament to just how well Americans can take care of themselves, and each other, in a crisis, and without the helping hand of big brother.


These citizens that set out to help their fellow victims were called the “Cajun Navy,” and their story has spread far and wide. They’ve been celebrated all over the country, and it’s well deserved.

But it would appear that government wishes to regulate the Cajun Navy so that in the future, everything is done under the approval of the Louisiana government. Or at least, that’s the rumor floating around.

State Senator Jonathan Perry said he is currently drawing up legislation that would require members of the Cajun Navy to acquire training, certificates, and permits in order to rescue people from their predicament should they ever find their houses underwater again.


“At the end of the day, there are going to be two things that are going to be the hurdle when you approach it from the state’s standpoint,” Sen. Perry said. “Liability is going to be number one for them. They don’t want the liability of someone going out to rescue someone and then not being able to find them, and secondly, there’s a cost.”

Perry continues by saying the liability issue could be solved by something like a waiver that boaters sign prior to a natural disaster.


Naturally, the Cajun Navy, and indeed Louisianans as a group, are pushing back against this government overreach that would require a government nod in order to rescue people in need.

Members of the Cajun Navy argue – and have proven – that they know the areas they are performing rescue operations in far better than the government officials sent into the help. They also perform faster, and more efficiently than any government organization could dream to.

But Perry has stated that he is completely misunderstood when it comes to his intent for making the Cajun Navy a government certified entity.

“The intent of what I want to do is to completely un-regulate it to where our volunteers are not stopped from going out,” Perry said in the video. “What’s happening is, it’s all getting twisted around like I’m trying to put a fee on it. I’m trying to tax it. I’m trying to require a permit.”

You can watch Perry give his complete explanation for his actions here.

In the end, Perry’s intent is to make the Cajun Navy more streamlined. Instead of being stopped, they can buzz right past law enforcement and do the jobs they set out to do. No hassles, or worries. This sheds light on Perry’s “government expansion,” and puts it in a very non-expansive light.


Despite Perry’s idea being ultimately to get it out of the way, any government regulation opens the door for more, and would stop anyone from actually accomplishing tasks in the moment. It should be noted the Cajun Navy knows how to operate in their communities better than anyone outside it, and this process could just be another road block that would stop people from getting help. This includes what rules and regulations the Cajun Navy is willing to accept as well, however.


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