National Boating Safety Week runs May 21 through the 27th.

Click to hear KMZU’s Chris Clift talk with Missouri Water Patrol Sgt. Jerry Callahan:

Jerry Callahan

Press release from the Missouri Highway Patrol:

EMPHASIS:  National Boating Safety Week: Timely Reminder Of  Safe Boating

Major Thomas E. Roam, director of the Missouri State Highway Patrol Water
Patrol Division, encourages boaters to take the time to prepare for safety
before heading to the water.  National Safe Boating Week is from May 21 to
May 27 this year.  It is no coincidence that it is the week prior to the
Memorial Day weekend.

Taking basic steps before going out on the water can help ensure a safe and
enjoyable outing.  The majority of boaters have likely not even had their
boats in the water yet this year.  That means a complete check of your
vessel safety equipment is key before planning your trip to the water.  The
first thing to check is that the required equipment is in the boat.  Many
boaters remove equipment for winter storage, so it remains in good,
serviceable condition.  Be sure the required equipment is placed back into
your boat.  For a list of required equipment you can visit the Highway
Patrol website.  A list of required safety equipment based on your boat’s
length can be found in the Missouri Boating Handbook in the top right
section of the Water Patrol Division page.  Make sure your fire
extinguisher has a proper charge in it.  Marine fire extinguishers should
have a way of verifying they are still good without breaking the seal.
When they are needed is not the time you want a fire extinguisher to fail.

One of the most important pieces of safety equipment on your boat is life
jackets.  It is important they are in good condition and fit the intended
user.  Drowning is one of the leading causes of fatalities on the water.
It is not enough to simply carry life jackets; you have to wear one.
Accidents on the water happen too fast to reach stowed life jackets.
National Safe Boating Week encourages all boaters with their simple slogan
of, “Wear It!” A life jacket can save your life.  Missouri law requires
children under seven to wear a life jacket at all times while on board a
boat unless in an enclosed cabin area.  The best way to ensure your safety
and encourage children to wear their life jackets is to just “Wear It!”

One great way to ensure all your boat’s equipment is in good working order
is to have a courtesy equipment inspection performed by the Missouri State
Highway Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, or the U.S. Power Squadron.
You can visit the Highway Patrol website and find locations where officers
will be available this weekend and other weekends during the summer months
for courtesy boat inspections.  See the complete list on the Water Patrol
Division page under “Serial Number Verification Inspections” along the left
column.  Troopers will also perform a courtesy inspection on the water if
you wave them over and request one.

The Highway Patrol hopes all boaters have a safe and enjoyable summer on
Missouri’s waters.  A great way to get your summer off to a safe start is
to use National Safe Boating Week as a time to plan and prepare before
going out.  Should you have an emergency on the water you can use *55 the
same as you would on the road to have officers dispatched to assist.