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Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital


Water Safety Tips

Scenic view overlooking a river

Learn about boating safety and be safe this summer while on the water.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Now that summer is here, people will visit Missouri’s lakes, rivers and streams.  Follow these tips to stay safe on the water:

  • If you were born after January 1, 1984 and plan to drive a boat, you must have a boating safety card.  This card states that you have completed the approved boating safety course offered by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.
  • Missouri law requires that each boat have one US Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PDF) for each person on board. 
    • Children under seven years old are required to wear a PDF while on any boat unless they are enclosed in a cabin, such as a houseboat.
    • Did you know that nine out of ten drowning victims were not wearing a PDF? 
  • Every boat 16 feet or longer must have a throw able PDF, such as a seat cushion or a ring buoy. 
  • Everyone on a power water craft (PWC) or wave runner must wear a Coast Guard approved PDF.
  • It is illegal to drive a boat or PWC while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  About half of Missouri boating injuries and deaths are alcohol related.
    • Alcohol depresses the central nervous system, affects vision, coordination, judgment and reaction time. 
  • Finally, while out on the water be aware of the other PWC around you.
    • Keep a safe distance from the other boats or PWC to avoid crashes.
    • Slow down when coming to crowded areas.
    • Always look for skiers, swimmers and scuba divers.

These are just a few of the things you should know before going out on the water this summer. For more information on water safety review the Missouri State Highway Patrol website.

Be safe and have a great summer!

Brought to you by the Health Promotion Disease Prevention Program. 


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