With the Memorial Day holiday just around the corner, many Missourians will be spending it on the water. Yet as many as 700 people die every year across the country in boating related accidents, according to the Missouri State Water Patrol. The week of May 22nd -28th is Safe Boating Week in Missouri, and the goal is to reduce fatalities through awareness, education, and boat safety inspections. KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann has more.
Now is the time to be thinking about boat and water safety as the Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial beginning to the summer boating season. There are several simple yet effective things boaters can do to ensure a safe summer on the lake like taking a certified boating education course, wearing life jackets, not consuming alcohol while operating their boat, having a sound device like a horn or whistle, and having boats inspected. Trey McCurdy manages a boat store in Ozark that does boat inspections. He says that common sense goes a long way toward boating safety.
"First of all we tell people to create a boating plan. What we mean by that is always tell a family member or friend where you are planning on going, what you are planning on doing, and what time you expect to return. That way if something does come up like your trailer breaks down, or you boad breaks down, people have an idea of where you should be. Many times, time is of-the-essence. And as far as using the boat, good common sense goes a long way on the water." said McCurdy.
Throughout the Ozarks on Saturday May 22nd, in conjunction with Safe Boating Week, there will be several boat inspection stations performing these vital safety checks. There will also be inspections conducted throughout the summer at various locations. McCurdy says that his store is one of the locations that will be doing inspections all summer.
"People can drop by the dealership anytime and we can give them an idea of what to look for [like] things they should do, things not to do, and some items needed for their vessel. We also make sure they have everything on board to be safe and compliant with Missouri and federal regulations and laws. We even hand out free pamplets and booklets that go over all of the rules and regulations as well." McCurdy said.
You can find a link below to more information about general boater safety, certified boating courses, and boat inspection locations. For KSMU News, I’m Theresa Bettmann.