Missouri waterways becoming dangerous

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Photo courtesy of Missouri State Water Patrol

Missouri News Horizon
During the summer months people enjoy spending their weekends on the water however, having too much fun can change an enjoyable weekend into a tragic one.  While it is ok to have fun, boaters are reminded that safety comes first and this past weekend was proof that Missouri's waterways are becoming a little dangerous.

Three people were injured in accidents over the weekend. A woman from St. Louis County suffered moderate injuries when two boats crashed on the Lake of the Ozarks Saturday...while two teenagers suffered minor injuries when they fell off inner tubes being pulled behind watercraft on Table Rock and Bull Shoals. Sergeant Jerry Callahan of the Highway Patrol’s Water Division says boat operators need to stay alert in heavier traffic.

Callahan said, “We don’t have lanes on the waters like we do on the roads, so you can have a boat come in any direction. So passengers and operators keeping a proper look out can go a long way, and of course slowing down gives you that extra reaction time you need in an emergency.”

Callahan says increased traffic will make the water rougher and he says one of the leading causes of injury accidents on the water is passengers or operators falling inside boats.

It looks like a lot of safe, clean, fun...pulling a kid behind a boat on a big inner tube or inflatable mattress. But a couple of young teenagers went to the hospital over the weekend after they were hurt in tubing accidents on Missouri lakes.

Sergeant Callahan says boat operators need to use good judgment when pulling tubers.

Callahan said, “The best time to tube is earlier in the morning when there’s light traffic out, but it doesn’t mean you can’t do it in the middle of the day, you just have to pick your times and place. If there’s heavy traffic in an area, that’s not the place to do it.”