Boating Safety Message for a Safe July 4th Holiday Weekend

Boating
Safety Message for a Safe July 4th Holiday Weekend

The
Fourth of July weekend is a great time to spend on Missouri’s waterways and
it’s usually the busiest holiday on the water. 
The chance to view fireworks from the water also makes this weekend the
busiest for nighttime boating.  But
nighttime navigation has more safety issues which boaters need to
consider.  While there is less traffic,
and therefore fewer accidents at night, the accidents that do occur tend to
lead to more serious injuries due to operating speeds and limited
visibility. 

Before
heading out after dark, boaters need to make sure the vessel navigation
lighting is in good working order and that they have spare light bulbs on
board.  The navigation lights on boats,
unlike automobile headlights, are there so other boaters can spot your boat,
rather than to show you where you’re going. 
A spot light can be used to help operators see where they are going, but
it may not be shined continuously.

Missouri’s
nighttime speed limit on the water is 30 miles per hour.  This is in effect from one half hour after
sunset to one hour before sunrise. 
Operating at high speed at night leaves a boater little or no reaction
time in an emergency situation.  Slowing
down and keeping a sharp look out for other boats or obstructions in the water
can greatly reduce the chances of being involved in a serious accident after
dark. 

Shooting
fireworks from a boat or at another boat is unsafe and illegal.  Exposed fuel tanks and gasoline fumes make
boats and fireworks a dangerous combination. 

As
with all summer holidays, the Water Patrol expects heavier boat traffic on
Missouri’s rivers and lakes. 

All
available uniformed officers will be working extended shifts over the holiday
weekend.  The Water Patrol asks boaters
to be patient and keep a sharp lookout. 
Boat smart and enjoy the Fourth of July.

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