FENTON, Mo. – It is boat safety week and as such marine operations officers with the Missouri State Highway Patrol are doing some inspections, making sure everybody is safe getting on the water.
Just a week before Memorial Day weekend, Missouri boaters are gearing up and making sure they’re prepared.
“We were getting ready to go out and do a trial run on the engine before we take it out on big water,” says John Czaicki, a boater. “The Missouri Highway Patrol was here and offered to do a safety inspection. Course I let them do that and we passed.”
As part of boat safety week, Missouri highway troopers were across the state Saturday, from the Lake of the Ozarks to the Meramec River and George winter park.
May 22 through the 28th marks national safe boating week.
“We’re doing boat safety inspections,” says Trooper Daniel Highly, with the Missouri State Highway Patrol. “In the state of Missouri based on the size or length of your watercraft you’re required to have a certain amount of equipment such as lifejackets, fire extinguishers and sound producing devices. We’re giving people the opportunity to come out and for us to physically go over their boats. Sometimes they don’t know and we want to make sure they have the proper equipment and registration and those kind of things free of charge to make sure when they do go out on the water they’re within the guidelines of the state law.”
For fishermen and women looking for crappie and bass, look to have your boat in order first, with help from these marine specialists reminding the importance of a life vest.
“Everything on a boat when you crash is designed to hurt you. Most of our boat crashes do involve serious injury. If you do go into the water and you’re unconscious the only that’s going to save you is a lifejacket.”
“Have a check list and know your boat and know the water,” says Czaicki. “Make sure you have all your safety gear with respect to lifejackets and sounding your alarm and a whistle and that sort of thing, a fire extinguisher.”
If you are a boat owner and missed the inspections for today, you can still call your local headquarters. For our area that’s Troop C and arrange to get an inspection for your boat.