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Missouri State Highway Patrol or MSHP Patrol Boat
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Colonel Eric T. Olson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, emphasizes the importance of safe boating and announces National Safe Boating Week from May 18-24, 2024. Scheduled just before Memorial Day weekend—the start of boating season—this week highlights the importance of boating safety.

Boaters are advised to familiarize themselves with Missouri’s boating laws and navigation rules. In Missouri, anyone born after January 1, 1984, who operates a boat must have a NASBLA-approved boating safety ID card. Following the law and ensuring your vessel is in good condition makes the boating experience safer for everyone.

Boaters are urged to perform a thorough inspection of their vessels before the season’s first outing. Missouri State Highway Patrol’s marine operations troopers prioritize boating safety and offer to inspect boats to ensure compliance with state laws. To facilitate these inspections, troopers will be available at specified locations on Saturday, May 18, 2024:

Troop A:

  • Truman Lake at Shawnee Bend Boat Ramp, Golf Road, Warsaw, MO from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Smithville Lake at Camp Branch Marina Boat Ramp, 17201 Paradesian Street, Smithville, MO from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Troop B:

  • Mark Twain Lake at Ray Behrens Boat Ramp, 42991 Ray Behrens, Perry, MO from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Troop C:

  • Troop C Headquarters, 891 Technology Drive, Weldon Spring, MO from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Troop D:

  • Stockton Lake at State Park Marina Boat Ramp, 19100 South Highway 215, Dadeville, MO from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Pomme de Terre Lake at Hermitage Boat Ramp, 23697 County Road 218, Hermitage, MO from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Table Rock Lake at State Park Marina Boat Ramp, 380 State Park Marina Road, Branson, MO from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Elk River at Cowskin Access, Missouri Highway 43, and Langley Road, McDonald County from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Troop E:

  • Wappapello Lake at People’s Creek Boat Ramp, People’s Creek Road, Wappapello, MO from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Troop F:

  • Lake of the Ozarks State Park Public Beach #2, Old Highway 54, Osage Beach, MO on May 22 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Troop G:

  • Clearwater Lake at Piedmont Park Boat Ramp, Piedmont, MO from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Troop H:

  • Big Lake State Park at Boat Ramp, 7181, 204 Lake Shore Drive, Craig, MO 64437 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Missouri River at French Bottom Public Fishing Access, 1502 McArthur Drive, St. Joseph, MO on May 18 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Troop I:

  • Gasconade River at Jerome Conservation Access, State Route D, Jerome, MO from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

A life jacket is essential for everyone on board. While children under seven are required by law to wear a personal flotation device, it is advisable for everyone, regardless of age, to wear a life jacket near water.

Be aware of your boat’s capabilities and local water conditions. Reduce speed in unfamiliar areas and recognize the signs of boater fatigue. Avoid alcohol while operating a boat, or designate a sober captain.

In 2023, Missouri recorded 28 drownings, 159 boating accidents, including 89 injuries and six fatalities. These statistics highlight the need for vigilance and safety on the water.

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