Charges pending after triple fatal boat accident at Lake of the Ozarks
"Well, this is, no doubt, a tragic beginning to National Safe Boating Week."
That's Troop F Sgt. Scott White of the Missouri State Highway Patrol after three people were killed, two others injured in a boating accident early Saturday morning near the 47 mile marker of the Lake of the Ozarks.
"Based on their preliminary investigation, it appears the boat crashed into a rock bluff," White added.
Then, late Saturday night, one person was arrested on suspicion of boating while intoxicated. Charges have not yet been formally filed against Hayden Frazier, 21, of Kansas, by prosecuting attorney Heather Miller, as the investigation is still ongoing.
With this being a tragic start to the boating and summer season at the Lake of the Ozarks, police are urging people to be smart about their time on the water.
"If they do go out at nighttime, make sure that they're familiar with the lake. Have a sober captain, and especially at night, make sure that everybody is wearing those life jackets," White said. "The thing about emergencies is you can't predict when something is going to happen."
If you can't find someone to be a sober captain for the night, there are other options at the lake that will help you get where you want and need to go.
"Pretty much everybody that we take is drinking alcohol and having a good time. But, they don't have to worry about driving, or paying somebody to drive their rental boat or anything like that," said Dave Callanan, owner of Lake of the Ozarks Water Taxi.
Lake of the Ozarks Water Taxi provides service from the Bagnell Dam to the 14 mile marker of the main channel, and the Gravois Arm, and runs Thursday through Sunday.
A ride can cost between $15 to $20 per person.
"We just make it easy to make the right decision not to drink and drive. I mean, all they have to do is send us a text and we can have a boat there, depending on where they're at on the water, in as little as five to 10 minutes," Callanan added.
If you're looking for a boat to take you past the 14 mile marker,
which is like a boating version of Uber or Lyft, started up at the lake last year.
You can pay by the hour, or just set destinations, and the captain will pick you up and drop you off where you would like to go.