Missouri State Highway Patrol reminds boaters to stay safe on the water

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is reminding boaters to stay safe while out on the water.

As the weather warms up, families are anxious to get outside and enjoy time on the water. But, it is important to use caution. Nationwide, approximately 500 people drown each year from recreational boating crashes. 88 percent of those people were not wearing a life jacket. Missouri law requires children under the age of seven to wear a life jacket at all times while on board a water vessel. It is also best to make sure all of your boats equipment is in good working condition.

"This is the time of year if you've not already done so to get your boat prepared to go out on that first trip making sure that you have the adequate equipment on board that your boat is functioning properly," said Sgt. Brent Bernhardt, of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Courtesy inspections can be performed by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, US Coast Guard Auxiliary, or the US Power Squadron. Those troopers will perform a courtesy inspection on the water if you wave them over and request one.