The U. S. Coast Guard will be stepping up enforcement and increasing visibility on Lake of the Ozarks during the summer boating season. Boaters can expect to see more of a presence than in past seasons.

The U. S. Coast Guard will be stepping up enforcement and increasing visibility on Lake of the Ozarks during the summer boating season. Boaters can expect to see more of a presence than in past seasons.

LCDR Tasha Sadowicz, Enforcement Chief for the Sector Upper Mississippi River, said the Coast Guard will be not only on the water to handle enforcement but to increase awareness of boating rules and regulations and work with the Missouri Highway Patrol Water Patrol Division, Lake of the Ozarks Water Safety Council and the Coast Guard Auxiliary to promote safety on the waterways. The Coast Guard will continue to crack down on charter vessels operating illegally on Lake of the Ozarks, an enforcement effort that began last summer.

Sadowicz said because Lake of the Ozarks is considered a federal navigable waterway, the Coast Guard is responsible for enforcing federal rules, including illegal charters and unlicensed captains operating for hire. The unit that handles the lake also covers another 2,200 miles of waterway that spans 11 states. With limited resources, the Coast Guard has to focus on waterways that are more challenging and complex. Lake of the Ozarks is one of those areas, she said.

Although illegal charters are only one aspect of the enforcement efforts, she said it is a priority. The illegal charter operations on Lake of the Ozarks create a danger to the boating community.

The Coast Guard will also be increase public outreach and working with the auxiliary to provide marina visits, boater education classes and safety checks to help with manpower.