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Teach your teens about boating safety this spring

On Behalf of | Mar 12, 2024 | Boat Accidents

If you live in proximity to the Lake of the Ozarks, it is quite likely that you might own a boat. Boating on the lake is a great family activity for three out of four seasons of the year here in Missouri. 

One of the rites of passage of teens who grow up in the many communities surrounding the lake region is to head out on water in a boat with their friends. But allowing them to enjoy this freedom must be tempered with the responsibility of ensuring their children have first been properly trained in boating safety.

Start with the basics 

Kids six and under must always wear personal flotation devices (PDF) whenever they are on the water and not in an enclosed space.

No one should be operating a watercraft while intoxicated. However, underage drinking combined with a lack of boating safety can lead to a day of tragedy on the lake. Make sure that all teens understand that alcohol is forbidden when using any of your boats or jet skis.

Also, boaters who speed through no-wake zones can cause property damage and injuries or even death to those in smaller vessels swamped by the wakes. Teens must agree to follow all speed and safety requirements or risk arrest.

Proper training is mandatory

All those whose birthdays fall on or after January 1, 1984, must have boating safety ID cards issued by the state in addition to photo IDs. No one under 14 may operate any watercraft in the state.

Boat wrecks can lead to liability claims

Those injured on or around watercraft may have a cause of action to seek financial recovery for their injuries, losses and other damages. Learning more about your rights and responsibilities under the law is always prudent.