ST. LOUIS – The warm weather is getting people outside to do more activities, including taking rides down Missouri’s lakes and rivers. The Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) is warning boat operators and dock owners to be aware and courteous while boating.
MSHP says this winter’s ice and heavy snow combinations have caused damage to some boat docks.
They are reminding dock owners to wear life jackets when assessing and repairing damaged docks. Also, use the buddy system so someone knows if you fall in the water.
If there are any damaged electric wires around docks, they should be treated as if they are live. If you feel a shock, swim away from the dock.
For boats, MSHP says after a long winter, it is important to make sure it is ready to go: thoroughly inspect the boat for fuel and water leaks before going on the water, go through your equipment checklist, make sure everyone has life jackets.
Life jackets must be worn or readily accessible to be compliant with state law.
If you are on or near the water and an emergency occurs, MSHP says call “*55” on your cellphone to reach the nearest troop headquarters.