Missouri Water Patrol rewards kids wearing life jackets at the Lake of the Ozarks

Published: Jul. 3, 2022 at 10:14 PM CDT
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LAKE OZARK, Mo. (KY3) - Ameren Missouri and the Missouri Water Patrol are teaming up to promote boating safety.

Kids spotted wearing a life jacket will be rewarded a free t-shirt by troopers on the Fourth of July weekend.

“A day of boating at Lake of the Ozarks is a great way to celebrate Independence Day, but we want to make sure everyone does so safely,” said Captain Mike Petlanksy, MSHP water patrol division director. “Wearing a properly fitted life jacket is one of the best ways to stay safe on the water.”

The water patrol says to wear a well-fitted life jacket while boating or walking near water. It’s the law for kids under seven to have it on unless they’re inside the cabin of a houseboat.

“We have been doing this program for about ten years or even longer, so quite some time,” said Brian Geier, Missouri State Water Patrol. “It’s a good way to interact with the public on a positive level.”

Alongside the program, the water patrol ensures everyone abides by the lake’s laws on this busy Fourth of July weekend.

”Most of our calls have been safety-related reports of careless vessels which can include too close to docks or swimmers in the water,” said Geier. “We have made quite a few contacts and issued citations and tickets.”

Water Patrol says it is a hectic weekend, so expect to deal with traffic, and if you do water sports, go to a cove or a less populated area.

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