Missouri Highway Patrol offers boater safety certification courses
OSAGE BEACH - The Missouri State Highway Patrol's Troop F was set to begin this season of boater safety certification courses Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m in Osage Beach.
By Missouri law, any person born after January 1, 1984, is required to carry a boater safety certification card and picture ID while operating a vessel on Missouri lakes. This includes the operation of personal vessels.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Troop F had 16 fatal boating incidents take place between April 2014 and February 2015. Troop F covers several mid-Missouri counties.
Of those incidents, six cases were reported as drownings and three were a result of the person falling overboard.
One of these cases was the drowning of 20-year old Brandon Ellingson last May. Ellingson was arrested on suspicion of boating while intoxicated and placed in handcuffs. He fell overboard and drowned despite having a life jacket put on by the highway patrol officer.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol encourages all motorists and passengers to properly restrain themselves in seat belts. Watercraft operators should also protect themselves and their passengers by making sure everyone is wearing an approved life jacket.
Troop F's commanding officer, Captain Gregory D. Kindle, said the four classes will be offered over the next three months. The Missouri Highway Patrol website has more information regarding times and locations of these certification courses.
[Editor's Note: This story has been updated to correct the first line to include more accurate information.]