With summer and warm weather now in sight, the Missouri State Water Patrol is calling attention to the importance of safe boating practices and the use of life jackets while on the water.  Gov. Jay Nixon has signed a proclamation designating May 22 to 28 as Safe Boating Week in Missouri.


With summer and warm weather now in sight, the Missouri State Water Patrol is calling attention to the importance of safe boating practices and the use of life jackets while on the water.  Gov. Jay Nixon has signed a proclamation designating May 22 to 28 as Safe Boating Week in Missouri. 

“Memorial Day weekend may be the unofficial start of the boating season, but it’s never too early to start thinking about how to be as safe as possible on the water,” said Lt. Col. Michael Smith, acting commissioner of the Missouri State Water Patrol.  “All too often Water Patrol officers see cases in which a person might not have drowned or been seriously injured if a life jacket had been worn or other safety precautions had been taken.”

On average, 700 people die in the U.S. each year in boating related accidents.  These numbers could be reduced significantly if more people used safe boating practices.  Safe boating begins before heading out on the water and includes:

• taking a certified boating education course
• wearing your life jackets
• not consuming alcohol while operating a boat

A complete list of the required equipment for boats and a link to the Handbook of Missouri Boating Laws and Responsibilities is available at http://www.boat-ed.com/mo/handbook/checklist.htm.  Another important safe boating practice is simply being familiar with your boat and the equipment on board.

One great way to ensure your vessel has all the proper safety equipment is to have a vessel safety inspection performed at the beginning of the boating season by a member of the Missouri State Water Patrol, United States Coast Guard Auxiliary or the United States Power Squadron.

Here is a list of Missouri State Water Patrol vessel safety inspection station locations that will be conducted to promote boating safety week.

INSPECTION STATION LOCATIONS AND TIMES FOR SATURDAY MAY 22

Lake of the Ozarks         Lake of the Ozarks State Park Marina, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Truman Lake         Shawnee Bend Boat Ramp, 9:30 a.m. -11:30 a.m.
Table Rock Lake         Kimberling City Police Department, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Shell Knob Central Crossing Fire Station, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Bull Shoals/Norfork Lakes     Gainesville Bullseye Convenience Store (Hwy 5&160) 8:30a.m.–9a.m.
Wappapello Lake         Corps of Engineers Office, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Missouri River – St. Charles    Blanchette River Access, 11:00 a.m. – 12:000 p.m.
Meramec River – Fenton    George Winter Park boat ramps, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Smithville Lake        Route W boat ramp, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Blue Springs Lake        Blue Springs Lake Marina, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

If you are unable to bring your boat to one of these inspection station you can visit this link http://www.mswp.dps.mo.gov/News/NRDetailbasic.asp?ID=N07100006 for times and locations of inspection stations that will be conducted throughout the boating season.  Inspections may also be requested while on the water by waving an officer over when conditions allow.  Each boat that passes an inspection will be affixed with a Missouri inspection sticker featuring the “Wear It Missouri” campaign logo promoting life jacket use.