JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri  (PRESS RELEASE) Colonel Sandra K. Karsten, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, would like to make the public aware of National Safe Boating Week, which takes place May 19-25, 2018. National Safe Boating Week is purposefully scheduled just prior to Memorial Day weekend, which many people consider the kickoff to the boating season. Boaters are encouraged to arrange for a thorough inspection of their boat prior to taking it out on the water this boating season. Weather, time, and other elements may affect the readiness of your boat. The Patrol’s marine operations troopers are available to inspect the required equipment on your boat, at your request, to make sure you’re in compliance with state law. To help facilitate these inspections, marine operations troopers will be at the following boat equipment inspections stations:

TROOP A — Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Smithville Lake – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Camp Branch Marina
17201 Paradesian Street, Smithville, MO

Truman Lake – 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
(with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)
Shawnee Bend Boat Ramp 
Golf Road, Warsaw, MO

TROOP B — Saturday, May 19, 2018

Mark Twain Lake – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Ray Behrens Boat Ramp
20642 Highway J, Monroe City, MO

Long Branch Lake – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Long Branch Lake Marina
29154 Marina Road, Macon, MO

LaGrange Riverfront Boat Ramp — 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Mississippi Boat Ramp 
Washington Street at the Mississippi River, LaGrange, MO

TROOP D – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, May 19, 2018

Table Rock Lake 
Table Rock State Park Marina public boat ramp
South of Table Rock Dam on Missouri Highway 165

Stockton Lake 
Mutton Creek Cove
Missouri Route Y two miles east of Arcola, MO

Pomme de Terre Lake
Nemo Marina Cove
Missouri Highway 64, Pittsburg, MO

TROOP E — 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, May 19, 2018

Wappapello Lake 
Redman Recreational Boat Ramp
Missouri Route T, Wappapello, MO 

Current River 
Doniphan City Boat Ramp
Jefferson Street, Doniphan, MO

TROOP F — 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Saturday, May 19, 2018

Gravois Arm Lake of the Ozarks 
Coffman Conservation Access at 2.60-mile marker
From Eldon, MO: Missouri Route Y, Lake Road Y-20 and follow signs 

5-65 Marina 
Standing Rock Cove at 32-mile marker Lake of the Ozarks
680 Marina Road, Camdenton, MO

TROOP G — 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., May 19, 2018

Bull Shoals Lake
Theodosia Marina 
509 L.B. Cook Memorial Drive, Theodosia, MO 

Current River
Van Buren River Front Boat Ramp
509 Main Street, Van Buren, MO

TROOP H — 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 19, 2018

French Bottoms’ Boat Ramp 
1502 McArthur Drive, St. Joseph, MO 
(near St. Jo Frontier Casino)

TROOP I — 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 19, 2018

Meramec State Park Boat Ramp (Meramec River) 
Missouri Highway 185, south of Sullivan, MO

 

Additional information on local equipment inspection stations may be obtained from your local troop headquarters. 

In addition to making sure your boat equipment is in compliance with state law, make sure you are familiar with laws regarding boat operation and traditional navigational rules. Remember: Missouri law requires everyone born after January 1, 1984, who operates a vessel on Missouri lakes to possess an approved boating safety identification card and photo ID. In 2017, there were 169 boating accidents reported in Missouri, with 90 injuries, and 11 fatalities. When boaters understand and obey the law, and vessels are in good operating order, everyone’s experience becomes safer. 

Personal flotation devices for everyone on board is a must! Children under seven years old are required to wear a personal flotation device in a boat, but you are never too old to wear a life jacket! Life jackets are now lighter, less obtrusive, and more comfortable than ever before. The new inflatable life jackets allow mobility and flexibility for activities like boating, fishing, or paddling, and are much cooler in the warmer weather. There are many different varieties of inflatable jackets ranging from those that inflate instantly when submerged in the water to those that are manually inflated. Although not required by law, children playing along the shoreline or on a dock should wear a life jacket. A drowning can occur quickly, with little or no sign the victim is struggling. Life jackets save lives!

It is important for each boat operator to know the capabilities of their boat. Reducing your speed in unfamiliar areas and being aware of unusual water conditions respective to the size and type of boat you operate are just a couple of environmental considerations. 

“Keep in mind that extended time in the sun and the constant motion of the water effects every vessel operator,” said Colonel Karsten. “For your safety and that of the other boaters, recognize the dangers of boater fatigue. Stay alert while enjoying Missouri’s lakes and rivers. Additionally, if you combine alcohol with boater fatigue your reaction time and thought process will be much slower. Please enjoy our state’s beautiful waterways, but designate a sober captain if you choose to consume alcohol.” 

Other safe boating tips to be aware of include:

1) Be a defensive boat operator … creating distance from other boats equals more reaction time.
2) Adjust your speed for the conditions … if visibility is poor, or the water is rough, slow down!
3) Turn off the boat while passengers are entering/exiting the water.
4) If you will be out on the water after dark, check your navigation lights before you leave the dock or ramp.
5) Each boat operator is responsible for doing whatever they can to avoid an accident. Don’t expect other boats to move out of your way.
6) Be courteous with your wake.

Boaters are reminded to contact the Missouri State Highway Patrol by dialing *55 on a cellular phone if they need assistance or observe another boater operating a vessel in an unsafe manner. 

Watercraft operators must consider the effect their actions have