What to do if you’re on a boat during severe weather


The Missouri State Highway Patrol is warning people of going out on the lake when storms are approaching.  

“Before you travel, before you go out on that journey in your boat, check the weather,” said Sgt. John Lueckenhoff with the MSHP. “See what is anticipated. See what’s been forecast for that day and make that decision as to what you’re going to do based upon what’s safest for your family.” 

The Highway Patrol says to not only have a life jacket handy, but to actually wear it.  

“The pop-up storms like, ultimately what was so tragic last year, those do occur,” said Lueckenhoff. “We know those occur. Depending on the severity of that storm, we would encourage people to, at first, to make sure everybody puts on that life saving device.  

“It doesn’t matter what age you are, doesn’t matter what quality of swimmer you think you are, make sure everybody is equipped with that, get your boat into a boat dock, a nearby boat dock, if possible. If there’s not, get your boat to the shore.” 

He says if you don’t get your boat docked or to the shore, it could take on water if positioned incorrectly. 

“What can happen is, as those waves generate, those waves can start to come over the back of your boat,” Lueckenhoff said. “Your boat is not designed to take on waves from the back, that’s the nature of the way the hull is designed. You could end up with a swamped boat or your boat could sink.  

“Everyone’s always going to be concerned, ‘Well I don’t want to damage my boat,’ but, obviously human life is way more important than damage to a boat.” 

Before heading out to the lake, you can always check our KOLR10 Weather Experts App. It’s available for download at the Apple Store and Google Play.

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