Lake of the Ozarks group warns boaters to be safe on the water

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 5:57 PM CDT
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OSAGE BEACH, Mo. (KY3) - With the weather being hot and the water feeling cool, being on a boat is a perfect pastime. But doing so safely is the most important.

Missouri has boater safety laws. One of those laws says you can’t be riding on the bow of the boat when it is moving.

“Missouri has a law that states that you cannot ride on the gunnels, the gunnels are the side of the boat, he cannot ride on the bow. And you cannot ride on the stern or like on a sun pad while the boat is underway because there’s a danger that someone could fall off,” said Douglas Beck, co-chair of the Lake of the Ozarks Water Safety Council.

If you fall onto the propeller off the boat, you can hurt or kill yourself.

“So, even if the prop, if the boat is not moving and you’re sitting in idle or neutral and the engine is running, there is always that chance that somebody could be struck,” said Beck.

Back in June, an eight-year-old boy died because he was struck by a propeller when getting out of the boat.

“He died when the child exited the rear of the watercraft and he was struck by the propeller. Now the thing is, even if the propeller is in neutral, it is a free spinning in the water current, making that propeller turn,” said Beck.

He said one of the ways that you can be sure nobody gets hurt is by turning the propeller off and then count to 10.

“That gives the prop enough time to stop turning, and then someone can exit, but don’t jump off the back of the boat. Climb off using your ladder,, or exit off of the side of the boat,” said Beck.

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