ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – With temperatures soaring and sweat pouring, Missourians flee to the water looking for relief, but lakes and rivers aren’t always the sanctuaries that they seem to be.
The Missouri Water Patrol says this was a fatality-free weekend on the water, but dangers to boaters and swimmers alike persist. Spokesman Sgt. Gerard Callahan said that even though it may feel cooler on the water, the heat still poses a big threat.
“Boaters, and anybody out in the heat need to realize that they need to take precautions, stay hydrated,” Callahan said. “Just because you’re in the water, it doesn’t make you immune to any of the heat problems.”
Callahan also warned that the heat can intensify the effects of alcohol on the body, creating a dangerous mix of dehydration, intoxication and boating.
“Certainly the biggest risk boaters can take is not wearing life jackets, and [not] watching the alcohol consumption,” he said.
Callahan said boaters face other dangers that don’t immediately come to mind.
“Carbon monoxide poisoning can mask itself as heat-related illnesses,” Callahan said. “So people need to keep into account where the exhaust ports are on their boat, and just because somebody’s feeling nauseous, getting a headache, it may not be a heat-related illness. It could be carbon monoxide poisoning.”
The water patrol will maintain a strong presence on the water, and is ready to respond to calls at a moment’s notice.
Copyright KMOX Radio.