Ozark Officials Offer Steps to Greater Boat and Lake Safety
Law enforcement and safety councils at the Lake of the Ozarks are emphasizing awareness to lake safety to keep visitors safe.
Last year the Water Patrol Division of the Missouri State Highway Patrol made enforcement changes from seasons before. These changes included more troopers working at the lake, more BWI checkpoints, and raising awareness on the dangers caused by too much wake.
According to Sgt. Scott White of the WPD, the focus for the WPD this summer is raising boat operators’ awareness on how to manage their wake and at what speed their boat creates the most wake.
“For most motor boats that speed is the plowing speed. Although plowing speed is necessary to translate from idle to on plain, continuously plowing is unnecessary and should be avoided, especially when you are near docks or within coves,” Sgt. White said.
Another organization besides the WPD is also focused on water safety.
The Lake of the Ozarks Water Safety Council is entering its tenth year of existence and is ramping up its focus heading into this summer’s lake season. The two main areas of focus for the council are life jacket usage and designating a sober captain.
Trish Creach, president of the Lake of the Ozarks Water Safety Council, says life jackets and designating captains does not have to stop the fun.
“As we invite people and encourage people to come down and enjoy our beautiful waterways, we just ask that you be alert and you be safe when you’re out on the water and that includes wearing a life jacket and designating that captain,” Creach said.
According to Creach, the organization is really about the grass roots effort of sharing information and getting out and educating the community about wake issues, life jacket usage and designating a captain. She says the trend has been changing with more people buckling up and designating a sober captain, but there is a lot of work still to do.