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The Lake News Online
  • Program aims to increase lifejacket use

  • The Lake of the Ozarks Water Safety Council is spearheading a new program aimed at promoting lifejacket safety on the water by painting large reminders to buckle up on boat ramps and walkways.
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  • The Lake of the Ozarks Water Safety Council is spearheading a new program aimed at promoting lifejacket safety on the water by painting large reminders to buckle up on boat ramps and walkways.
    The large "Life Jacket Zone" painted in an eye-catching bright orange can be found at a growing number of locations around the lake.
    The project is intended to help educate boaters of all ages on the life-saving importance of wearing life jackets. Many drownings can be prevented with the use of an approved life jacket.
    In 2013, 13 people have drowned statewide, with the many of those fatalities on Lake of the Ozarks. In 2012, 21 people in Missouri drowned. The 2012 number was down significantly from 41 in 2011 and 50 drownings statewide in 2011.
    The council is hoping the idea catches on and reminds boaters as they head out on the water to wear a lifejacket. So far, the stencils have been used at the public beaches, ramps and some dock walkways. Some businesses have also taken advantage of the program as a public service.
    The large stencil was provided by Ameren Missouri as part of their efforts to promote water safety. Ameren Missouri also participates in program with the Missouri Highway Patrol providing fun t-shirts to kids who are "caught" lifejackets on the water.
    Although Missouri law does require children under age 7 to be outfitted in an approved life jacket when on the water, the rule does not apply to docks.
    Lifejackets are not only recommended for children but adults, as well.
    LOWSC member Rebecca Green said the council can provide the stencil and labor to paint for a small donation.
    For more information call 1-573-280-5726.
     
    About the Lake of the Ozarks Water Safety
    •The council manages a “Designate-A-Captain” program encouraging boaters to have a sober captain with local establishments offering free non-alcoholic beverages to those behind the wheel.
    •The council serves as a local/regional source for boating and water safety information.
    •The council participates in educational programs in local schools coordinated by the US Coast Guard Auxiliary to teach children the proper use of life jackets and water safety.
    Members from a number of area organizations serve on the council, including the Missouri State Highway Patrol-Water Division, Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, Lake West Chamber of Commerce, Camdenton Area Chamber of Commerce, Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau, Lake of the Ozarks Tri-County Lodging Association, Camden County Health Department, United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, and Ameren Missouri.
     
     
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