The number of drownings in Missouri is more than double what it was last year. Click to hear KMZU’s Sarah Scott speak with Lieutenant John Hotz, with the Missouri Highway Patrol:
This spike is not as unusual as it might seem. “One thing to keep in mind, last year was a very, very low year, in fact. And so we are fairly close to what we see as far as drownings go in most years,” said Hotz, “So, while certainly that’s not a good thing that numbers are up, we do want to keep that in mind that last year we did see a, statistically, very low number of drownings across the state.”
The low number last year may have been due to the drought. Hotz said some of this year’s drowning deaths could have been avoided.
“The most important thing that we encourage everybody to do, is if you’re in or even around the water, is to use a personal flotation device. Just about all the cases we see drownings, the person is not utilizing one of those devices. So we know that that can be a huge factor in determining whether or not you survive when you’re in or around water.”