Conveniently located in the heart of Missouri, The Lake of the Ozarks is the Midwest’s premier lake resort destination, offering world-class boating and fishing. At its deepest points Lake of The Ozarks can reach 130 feet deep and covers over 61,000 square miles.
While a great place for fun and adventure it is also important to understand some safety tips for our lake. No matter how much experience you have, it’s always a good idea for everyone to understand boating safety rules and practices before leaving the dock. Below are a few safety tips to help you boat responsibly and enjoy your time on Lake of The Ozarks this summer and in the future.
- Be prepared with safety gear
You can’t always predict an emergency, so be prepared for any situation. Here are some essential items to keep on board no matter the size of your boat: flashlight with extra batteries, first aid kit, whistle ropes and a fire extinguisher.
- Bring the proper life jackets
Life jackets do more than simply keep you afloat. Many are designed to turn an unconscious person face up and even help prevent hypothermia. By law, all boats must have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket for each person on board. Some states also require children to wear life jackets at all times.There are many types of life jackets on the market. Make sure the one you buy is appropriate for your on-water activity.
- Take a boating safety course
The U.S. Coast Guard estimates that 70% of boating accidents are caused by operator error. Before you leave the dock, make sure you know the rules and your responsibilities.
There are several online courses available, including a few free courses. The Boat US Foundation offers a free online boating safety course developed specifically for each individual state. The U.S. Coast Guard offers an additional list of online and hands-on courses for boating safety.
- Use common sense on the water
Rules on the water aren’t much different than rules on the road. It’s important to use common sense, such as staying alert at all times, operating at a safe speed and ensuring that passengers stay safely within the boat’s railings. Also while anchored it is important if you have swimmers in the water they are clearly visible to other boaters.
- Develop a Float Plan
Whether you choose to inform a family member or staff at your local marina, let someone else know where you’re going and how long you’re going to be gone. A float plan can include the following information: name, address, and phone number of trip leader and passengers; boat type and registration information; trip itinerary; and, types of communication and signal equipment onboard, such as an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon or Personal Locator Beacon.
We wish everyone a fun time on the lake, and really, really encourage safe boating and please, never drink and drive! Have an Epic rest of your Summer!!