One of the nation’s leaders in promoting safe and responsible boating is joining the local call for the hundreds and thousands that will take to Missouri waterways over the July 4th holiday period to use some common sense. The Boat U-S Foundation offers several tips to help minimize the chances of you, or someone in your group, from becoming a statistic over the holiday. Among the tips: stop the distractions and be familiar with all the switches and where they are while operating your watercraft. It only takes a second for something very bad to happen on the water and distractions are one of the leading causes. Other friendly words of advice before hitting the water for the holiday include: holding off on alcohol until you are done boating for the night, always wearing life jackets, pay attention to other vessels and know how to get in touch with help if you find yourself stranded due to your boat breaking down. The official holiday counting period begins at 6-PM on Tuesday, July 3rd, and comes to an end at 11:59-PM on July 4th.