As the owner or renter of a boat, your life and the lives of your passengers are in your hands. In Missouri, if you are born AFTER January 1st, 1984, you are required by law to pass the Missouri Boater Safety Course before you can operate any vessel in the State of Missouri. For more info on this test, please visit the official website.
Top 10 Tips for Boating Safety
- Always wear a life jacket – In Missouri, it is required by Law that all recreational boats must carry one Coast Guard-approved life jacket for each person aboard. Life jackets should be tested once a year and must be the appropriate size for the intended user.
- Check the weather forecast – A calm, sunny day can quickly turn into a deadly storm. Check the weather forecast before venturing out on your boat. Also, keep a radio on board to receive weather updates and advisories.
- Take a boater safety course – Play it safe and take a boater safety course to learn the proper regulations and safety precautions on the water. Missouri requires operators to pass the Boater Safety Course and display their safety certificate at all times.
- Don’t drink and boat – According to the U.S. Coast Guard, Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) is a leading cause in fatal boating accidents. Alcohol affects judgment, vision and increases the likelihood of an accident. It’s illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol.
- Preventative boat maintenance – Keeping your boat in good working order is an important part of the boating experience. Regularly, having your equipment checked for safety ensures that it will perform better, reduce depreciation and save on costly repairs.
- Operate at a safe speed – Excessive speeding is a leading cause of all reported boating accidents. Operate your boat at a safe speed and stay aware of traffic density and navigation hazards to avoid accidents and save lives.
- Learn the rules of the waterway – Unlike our streets; waterways don’t have traffic signals to direct boater traffic. So boaters must depend on each other by observing safety precautions and navigational rules to prevent mishaps.
- Hypothermia is a risk – Avoid entering the water when the temperature is below 59 degrees Fahrenheit or hypothermia may result. The symptoms include a decrease in body temperature, uncontrolled breathing and unconsciousness. As you plan your trip, pack dry clothing in a waterproof bag and never go out alone.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector – Internal combustion engines on boats emit a harmful, odorless gas called carbon monoxide. The symptoms are similar to seasickness or alcohol intoxication. All boats with an enclosed cabin need to be equipped with a carbon monoxide detector as a precaution.
- Create a float plan – It is recommended that boaters inform a friend or family member where they plan to go, the route they will take and the time they are expected to return. This information will aid officials if an accident occurs.
If you follow these tips, you will be able to focus more on enjoying the Lake. After all, having fun is what it's all about right? BomBay Boat Rental will accommodate you with an awesome boat, tritoon, or jet-ski and will even deliver to you on site. With our 4 locations at the Lake of the Ozarks, we can have you on the water in no time. Stop by and see us!
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