A little preparation now can save you from a lot of grief later.
That is the message coming from the Lake of the Ozarks Water Safety Council which is urging boaters to expect a very busy holiday weekend.
“The use of properly sized life jackets is the thing boaters should consider before they get out on the water” says Captain Bob May, co-chair of the water safety council.
He tells KRMS News you should also check your equipment before you head out “like your battery, first aid kit, tool kit, docking lines, fire extinguisher and the new Federal Law for boats 26′ or less in length, that now require the operator to have an engine cutoff device, or FOB, in use while underway.”
Officials also recommend using the blower for several minutes to remove gas fumes before starting the engine and to make sure the boats drain plug is in before launch.
With the first big summer weekend boaters must prepare for the first days on the water according to the Lake of the Ozarks Water Safety Council. Lake of the Ozarks is among the premier boating recreation destination in the Midwest. Boaters can expect to encounter increased boating traffic on the lake for the Memorial Day weekend so perpetration for the first big weekend is critical.
According to Bob May, Co-Chair of the Lake of the Ozarks Water Safety Council, “the use of properly sized life jackets is the first things boaters should consider when they get out on the water.” Coast Guard reports indicate that 86% of drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket. Life jackets should be checked for wear and there must be a properly sized jacket readily available for everyone on the boat. In Missouri, children age 7 and under must wear a life jacket at all times while on a boat.
May also commented “Before the boating fun begins boaters should check their other boat equipment.” The items for inspection include batteries, first aid kit, tool kit, docking lines, and fire extinguisher. As of April 21, 2022, federal rules for boats 26 feet and less in length require the operator to have an engine cut-off lanyard or fob in use while underway. The cut-off device is designed to prevent boat strikes and injuries in the event the operator is thrown overboard.
Boaters as they arrive at the lake should make sure the drain plug is in before launch to prevent sinking and before starting the motor if equipped the blower should be run for several minutes to remove fuel vapor. Getting off to a good start is important to enjoying time on the water.
The Lake of the Ozarks Water Safety Council is a not-for-profit public service organization that promotes boating and water safety at the Lake of the Ozarks and the Midwest. The Water Safety Council was formed in 2007 with the mission of promoting water safety and to serve as a source for boating and water safety information for people who enjoy boating, swimming and other water related activities. The Council has representation from the local area Chambers of Commerce, Missouri State Highway Patrol-Water Division, Camden County Health Department, U.S. Coast Guard, Ameren Missouri, and community members.