Water Patrol Prepares

1 decade 6 months 2 weeks ago Sunday, May 27 2007 May 27, 2007 Sunday, May 27, 2007 10:07:52 PM CDT May 27, 2007 in News

Boating while intoxicated may be its most frequent violation, but they're dealing with any kind of safety issue, from people who fall overboard to boaters who go missing altogether.

"I don't think a lot of people realize Lake of the Ozarks is probably the busiest lake in the United States," said Lt. Nick Humphrey, Missouri State Water Patrol.

And with the traffic comes plenty of safety concerns.

"I would say that driving a boat is actually more difficult than driving a car. It's less forgiving. There's not the safety devices in a boat that'd you'd find in a car," said Lt. Humphrey.

Boats coming in all directions with no traffic controls and no airbags can be disastrous, even before the busy Memorial Day weekend.

"You know ya can't really call this day one. We've already had 2 fatalities on Lake of the Ozarks. So, boating here starts very early," said Lt. Humphrey.

The traffic will continue all summer long, keeping officers on high alert the whole time.

"On the holiday weekends I think if we had four times the number of officers we have, I think that we'd still feel like we're short staffed. There's just that much traffic on the holiday weekends," said Lt. Humphrey.

This weekend was no different even with the rainy weather. Parties on the lake were still hopping and Lt. Humphrey says a lot of what he sees from boaters isn't exactly 'G' rated.

"I could literally write a book with all the crazy things that I've seen out here on Lake of the Ozarks," said Lt. Humphrey.

One boater went missing on Saturday night. They're still searching for him and another person had to be air-lifted out after falling and hitting their head on a boat. So, remember to stay safe and be careful out there while you're having fun.

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