There have been five drowning deaths on Lake of the Ozarks for the month of August alone, and another drowning happened on July 31st.
And not all of them are happening on the water.
“One of them was a gentleman who liked to fish…and he was leaning back to try and support himself on a post, well…he didn’t hit the post and instead he fell off the dock and never resurfaced” says Captain Doug Beck with the Lake of the Ozarks Captain’s Association and the water Safety Council,“we have currents, we have underwater obstacles as well as the boat traffic. People have to remember, underneath the lake we have branches, we have trees, we have concrete, we have other objects. They increase the chances of extreme injury or even death so, it’s very simple, wear a life jacket!”
Beck says in most cases you can’t see those objects under the water; the lake may offer only one or two feet of visibility from the surface and sometimes people are unaware of what they’re diving into when they jump off a cliff.
He also says many people don’t understand the warning signs of drowning “Drowning doesn’t look like it does on TV or movies, where people are wailing and splashing around…that’s not what that is. A person is often not kicking, so their legs are still….they often hold their face above the water, so they may be still. They could be bobbing up and down, but they’re actually trying to gasp for air…so they may not be able to scream.”
Beck says wearing a life jacket should be worn anytime you’re on the water or around a dock.
Beck was a guest with Christian Blood on the KRMS Morning Magazine.