More and more boats are showing up on Lake of the Ozarks, especially on weekends.
One local captain is talking boating safety as tourism ramps up.
“In 2017, Lake of the Ozarks had 182 incidences….the State of Missouri had 427, so the Lake was responsible for 43% of that” says Doug Beck, President of the Lake of the Ozarks Captain’s Association and Co-Chair of the Water Safety Council, “but you need put in perspective…we are the busiest Lake…have more visitors than we have Lake! We want this place where people come and enjoy themselves. We want them to come back, we want them to have fun…but just be safe while doing that.”
He tells KRMS News the number of incidents on the lake continues to rise and by 2018, Lake of the Ozarks was accounting for half of all incidents reported by the Missouri Highway Patrol Water Division “the boating incidences ranged from boat crashes, boat related injuries and boat fatalities.”
Captain Beck says Lake of the Ozarks could surpass 10 million visitors over the course of 2021.
He encourages locals and visitors on the lake to wear life jackets, to understand proper fueling techniques for boats and personal watercraft and to look into Engine Cutoff Switches for all applicable vessels “really in order to reduce some of these numbers, you need boater education and boater awareness. And that’s what we do here at the Water Safety Council.”
A boating safety seminar is coming up at Margaritaville Saturday, May 15th and Beck highly recommends all residents and visitors alike attend the meeting.