SMITHVILLE LAKE, Mo. - On Labor Day, when many are enjoying the day off, the Missouri State Highway Patrol steps up efforts by increasing patrol.
Trooper Kimberly Davis makes sure people are following the rules of the water on Smithville Lake on the last big boating day of the year.
It's been a busy year for the Missouri State Highway Patrol Marine Division. There have been 35 drowning deaths so far in 2013, up from 16 at the same time last year. However, it's not a record year.
"Fortunately we didn't have as many as we did in past years so we are definitely up from the number of drownings we had last year. But there have been years where we had more drownings than we had this year," Trooper Davis said.
Davis has been keeping the waters safe for 15 years. She said the most common factors of accidents tend to be inattention, inexperience and impairment.
Waterways can be dangerous; Trooper Davis just wants to make sure people are having fun responsibly.
Last year, 85 percent of drownings happened when the person wasn't wearing a life vest.
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