Holiday weekend boaters may have seen an interesting sight while on the water this weekend. In addition to Missouri Highway Patrol out on the water, the U.S. Coast Guard was also patrolling the lake. "We come on holiday weekends and times of increased boating activity on the lake," said Chief Wall. "We enjoy coming down here. It is a beautiful area to operate."


Holiday weekend boaters may have seen an interesting sight while on the water this weekend. In addition to Missouri Highway Patrol out on the water, the U.S. Coast Guard was also patrolling the lake. "We come on holiday weekends and times of increased boating activity on the lake," said Chief Wall. "We enjoy coming down here. It is a beautiful area to operate."

Since the Lake of the Ozarks is a navigable water way, the Coast Guard has full jurisdiction on the waters. "We work with the federal, state and local agencies to assist them and make sure the lake stays as safe as possible," added Wall.

The Coast Guard's main focus is ensuring the boater's safety when on the water. "We try to concentrate on high boating hours," said Wall meaning that he and his crew are usually patrolling between the hours of 2 p.m. and midnight. "We patrol the lake and board vessels," he said, all while aiming to "educate the boaters."

 He also added that due to boater's lack of knowledge, "A lot of times they do not have the required safety equipment." When boarding a boat and speaking with individuals, all the Coast Guard really wants to do is "to leave the place better off than they found it" according to Wall.

"For us, we focus mainly on safety inspections. We find that the type four throwable floatation device such as a ring buoy or seat cushion are usually kept under the seats or stowed away in compartments," said Wall. "But they must be out on deck just in case someone falls over the side so that someone can simply throw it to them," he added.

Wall also said that when patrolling, he and his crew often find issues with rental boats. Missing fire extinguishers, missing type four floating devices and missing proper registration such as the rental agreement are just a few problems they have found. Wall recommends that anyone renting a boat gets a list of all gear the boat must have on it and inspect it before hitting the water.

When asked what advice he would give boaters, his first answer was, "Keep a sober driver." For more tips on how to stay safe when on the lake this summer, check out a video featuring Chief Wall on lakenewsonline.com.