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As the Missouri summer winds down, more and more people from around the state will want to cool off by getting out on the water this Labor Day weekend.

A state famous for its waterways, Missouri offers many different types of places to boat, float, fish, or enjoy other activities on the water. Whether you enjoy the crowds at the vast Lake of the Ozarks, the wide channels of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, or the small, isolated streams in the Ozark mountains, there is always a chance for personal injury accidents to happen.

Even skilled swimmers and experienced or prepared boaters can be the victims of a personal injury accident or be caught in a dangerous situation. Summer storms can crop up out of nowhere, other boaters may be reckless or impaired, or you may simply be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But instead of letting worry ruin your summer fun on the water, make sure you know what to do in the event of an accident on the water. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol (which now includes the State Water Patrol), you should do the following when reporting a boating accident:

  • Describe your emergency to the dispatcher.

  • As requested, provide the dispatcher with the following information:

    • Your name

    • The location of the accident

    • The kind of help you need (towing, medical help, etc.)

    • The nearest location to send an ambulance

    • The name of the vessel operator and any other persons involved in the accident (if known)

    • A description of the vessel(s) involved with registration number(s)

  • If you are calling from a cell phone, give the dispatcher the cell phone number. It may be necessary for the dispatcher to contact you for more information prior to an officer’s arrival.

  • When you are talking to the dispatcher, try to remain calm so that important information is not overlooked. If certain information is omitted, it could take longer than necessary for an officer to respond to your location. Your patience and cooperation are important for fast, efficient results.

Also, remember that many common legal issues concerning car accidents apply to boating accidents as well, such as driving while intoxicated or leaving the scene of an accident.

If you were involved in an accident this summer or another type of case that requires a personal injury attorney in St. Louis, call our office at 1-800-536-8844 or contact us online for a free consultation.