Water Patrol Warns of Drownings

Water Patrol Warns of Drowning
By: Ryan Tate
WAPPAPELLO, Mo. --According to the Missouri Water Patrol, sixteen people have drowned so far in 2007. That number is up from thirteen this time last year. A patrolman says most of the drownings this year can be linked to alcohol.
With the busiest day on the water set for Wednesday, Patrolman warn that people need to be safe.
"Alcohol effects you three times faster on the water as it does on the land. With the heat and waves, it wears on you and alcohol makes it worse," Patrolman Dave Nelson said.
According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, of the most reported reasons for drownings is people falling overboard. In 2005, nearly 70% of reported boating fatalities were drownings. Nearly 87% were people not wearing life jackets.
"Whenever I pull over a boat, I remind people of things. If they've been drinking, drink in moderation, and always have a designated driver," Nelson said.
Missouri and Illinois are in the top 10 for states with the most boating fatalities, according to the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. Studies from the Corps show that alcohol use was either a direct or indirect contributing factor in approximately one-third of all boating accidents.
"Alcohol starts effecting judgement at .2%. It doesn't give you a good mind set to have," Nelson said.