Lake of the Ozarks Reports 100 percent of water fatalities involve alcohol

Says something doesn't it! A lot of people drink and drive boats. When coming to Branson find a designated driver. All seven fatalities at Lake of the Ozarks involved alcohol...see the press release below:

Alcohol Involved in 100 Percent of this Year's Record Number of Fatalities at Lake of the Ozarks

With seven fatalities on Lake of the Ozarks thus far this year, the pace is set to shatter the previous record for deaths on this popular waterway. Six of the fatalities were drownings and one was the result of a boating accident. In each and every one of these seven fatalities, there was one common denominator� alcohol.

"The tragic thing about all these deaths is that most, if not all, of them could have been prevented had those involved worn life jackets and abstained from alcohol consumption," says Colonel Rad Talburt.

Boating while intoxicated has always been a public safety concern addressed by the Water Patrol through boater education and enforcement. However, this year six of the seven fatalities were swimmers. There is no law that prevents a person from swimming after consuming alcohol. "Swimming after consuming alcohol is a personal choice that can have deadly consequences," say Colonel Talburt.

Alcohol greatly increases a person's chances of drowning when swimming. Alcohol consumption is associated with a wide range of accidents and injuries resulting from the impaired performance of complex mental and motor functions, such as driving. The subtle and complex mixture of mental and motor functions required to swim or walk along a swaying dock make these activities prone to be affected by impairment by even low doses of alcohol. Wearing a life jacket is always recommended when you are in or near water, lounging on a dock or swimming in the lake. But when alcohol is involved, wearing a life jacket is essential. According to the American Council on Science and Health, "No one should drink alcohol, even in moderation, before operating a motor vehicle or engaging in other activities that involve attention and skill or physical risk. Such activities include operating machinery, boating, swimming, diving, and skiing."

The Water Patrol recommends the following:

1. Don't consume alcohol if you will be operating a vessel or swimming.

2. If you choose to consume alcohol around the water, wear a life jacket.

3. If you are with others who choose to consume alcohol around the water, ask them to wear a life jacket. You might save a life.