boating safety

Metro Creative

Remember to share the waterway and have appropriate life jackets for all on board while in a vessel on the water, states the highway patrol.

Missouri has a lot to offer for the Memorial Day holiday weekend with its state parks, lakes, sporting events and attractions. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, safety should be part of the holiday.

“Expect more travelers on Missouri’s roadways and an increase in boating traffic on the state’s lakes and rivers. Drivers and boat operators are reminded to follow all Missouri’s laws and be courteous. Always wear a seat belt when traveling in a vehicle and wear a life jacket when near, on or in the water,” states a release from the highway patrol.

This year’s Memorial Day holiday counting period begins at 6 p.m. Friday, May 26 and ends at 11:59 p.m. Monday, May 29. Every available trooper will be on the road enforcing traffic laws and assisting motorists during this time. Troopers will focus their attention on hazardous moving violations, speed violations and impaired drivers. The effort will be part of Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort.

Over the 2022 Memorial Day holiday weekend, 13 people died and 507 were injured in 1,043 traffic crashes.

The Memorial Day weekend is also an unofficial start to the boating season. During the 2022 Memorial Day weekend, there were nine boating crashes, which included one fatality and four injuries. No one drowned over last year’s Memorial Day weekend.

Last year, troopers made 131 driving-while-intoxicated and seven boating-while-intoxicated arrests.

Motorists or boaters in need of assistance or who want to report a crime should use the Highway Patrol’s Emergency Assistance number, (800) 525-5555 or *55 on a cellular phone.

For road condition reports, travelers can visit the patrol’s website at

“Be courteous to others enjoying Missouri’s lakes and rivers, wear a life jacket and obey the law regarding safe operation of a vessel and no wake zones. Causing harm to another person or their property with an excessive boat wake may subject you to enforcement action or civil liability,” states the patrol press release.

Traveling Missouri’s rivers can be dangerous. River bends create blind spots. Listening for boats coming down the river allows boaters time to give way, reports the patrol. Also, jet boats should stay closer to the center of the river to give floaters room.

“Power-driven vessels must give way to anchored or disabled vessels, vessels restricted in their ability to maneuver and commercial fishing vessels. Power-driven vessels also yield to a sailboat under sail unless it is overtaking and canoes or other vessels powered by paddles or oars alone. Observing right-of-way rules makes waterways safer for everyone,” states the patrol.