Booze, Boating Bad Combination

9 years 11 months 1 week ago June 15, 2007 Jun 15, 2007 Friday, June 15 2007 Friday, June 15, 2007 11:02:59 PM CDT in News
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Thursday's drowning brought the current 2007 death toll at the lake to five. Missouri Water Patrol officer Dean Bartlet says there is a simple lesson to be learned.

"Basically, if you are out drinking, have somebody that is responsible in the boat, because what we are seeing is the passengers are the ones being hurt," Bartlett said.

The drownings all happened at different times and different locations. The only common factors in all cases: there was alcohol involved and the boaters did not have life jackets. Whether you have been drinking or not, when entering the water officials say you should always wear a life jacket approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Bartlet says only life jackets approved by the Coast Guard are guaranteed to keep you a float. And a lake fisherman says most boaters don't take the most basic precautions.

"I don't know if we have seen anybody out there with a life preserver really, everybody's out partying having a good time not really being conscious about their safety," Jason Papek, Fisherman, said.

As a tournament fisherman, Papek is required to wear a life jacket.

"You know think when you drink I guess, if you are going to do it, I'm not advocating doing it on the lake, but if you are going to do it take extra precautions," Papek said.

Last year eleven people lost their life at the lake.

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