Several boating accidents reported at Lake of the Ozarks over Memorial Day Weekend

Published: May. 28, 2018 at 4:47 PM CDT
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Memorial Day Weekend at the Lake of the Ozarks started with an Iowa man flown to the hospital after two boats crashed near the Bagnell Dam Friday night.

Three others suffered minor injuries, and one was arrested on suspicion of boating while intoxicated.

Troopers say BWI, and nighttime boating are a common pattern in boating accidents so far this year.

"Maybe too much speed for the boat, and just maybe not being out there at night," said Corporal Stacey Mosher with the Missouri State Highway Patrol. "A lot of our more serious collisions do happen at night when visibility is an issue."

This weekend's accident, as well as triple fatal accident last weekend, are still under investigation.

Even though troopers say they receive between five to 15 calls for boating injuries, crashes, or medial calls while on the water every weekend, several injuries never get reported.

"I would like to see a little bit more accurate reporting on our injuries, that way we can really focus down on our education," Mosher said. "I know tubing causes a lot of injuries, and it's not that people avoid reporting those, it's just that you've got a child or a young adult who's injured and the emphasis is to get them to the dock and get them to the hospital. So, we don't hear about a lot of those type of injuries, but definitely hear about them through the hospitals later."

One of the biggest reason for the uptick in injuries this weekend?

Mosher said the nice weather played a big role.

"The number of people that we get is so dependent on the weather, we had such a long, cold winter, and then it got hot real quick. We've had beautiful weather this weekend, so we've definitely had more people down here this weekend," Mosher said. "Our numbers are going to bump a little bit, but year to year to year, they stay pretty consistent."

Troopers say life jackets are so crucial to safety on the water, even though they're not legally required for anyone older than seven-years-old in the state of Missouri.