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Our Opinion: Boating safety season

May 20, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.

The unofficial start to summer is just a week away.

Memorial Day weekend is to honor and remember members of the Armed Forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country.

It's also typically the time of the year pools start to open and our thoughts veer from work to barbecuing and, for some of us, boating.

The weekend is one of the biggest boating weekends of the season. That's why the week starting tomorrow is National Safe Boating Week.

We join the Missouri Highway Patrol in stressing the importance of safe boating. We urge you to have your boat inspected before taking it out on the water. The patrol's marine operations troopers offer this service free of charge.

Here in the patrol's Troop F, they'll be available today from 10 a.m.-noon at Mari-Osa Access, 10599 Marina Road, Jefferson City. They'll also be available from 10 a.m.-noon at Lake of the Ozarks State Park Public Beach #2 in Osage Beach.

Additional information on equipment inspection stations may be obtained from your local troop headquarters.

We also ask that boaters brush up on Missouri's boating laws.

Missouri law requires everyone born after January 1, 1984, who operates a vessel on Missouri lakes to possess an approved boating safety identification card. This includes those operating a personal watercraft.

Just as we urge you to buckle up in motor vehicles, we also urge you to wear a life jacket on boats. Children under 7 years old are required to wear a personal flotation device while in a boat, but they're proven life-savers for everyone.

Also, please designate a sober captain if you choose to consume alcohol.

Boating while intoxicated is a crime, just like driving while intoxicated, and both have resulted in needless deaths.

Let's celebrate safely this Memorial Day weekend while recalling the sacrifices that our military have made to ensure our freedoms.

News Tribune

Print Headline: Boating safety season

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