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Ameren Missouri and Missouri Highway Patrol teaming up to reward kids wearing life jackets this summer

Editor's Note: Ameren Missouri and the Missouri Highway Patrol will be available for interviews at 1 p.m. today to discuss this program, boating and dock safety for this weekend. Interviews will be available at the Shoreline Management Office located at 3 Willmore Drive, Lake Ozark, MO 65049.

LAKE OZARK, MO (July 2, 2019) – As the extended holiday weekend approaches, families with children will be looking to "get caught" by the Missouri State Highway Patrol while boating. That's because the Water Patrol Division will be handing out free t-shirts to children wearing a life jacket while boating on the Lake of the Ozarks. In partnership with Ameren Missouri, the t-shirts are a nice reward for being safe and a fun reminder to always wear your life jacket whenever you are on the Lake.

"Parents set an example for their kids every day. Start every boating trip by wearing your life jacket and make sure your children are wearing life jackets too. It's such a simple lesson that can save a life," said Jeff Green, supervisor of shoreline management for Ameren Missouri. "We want everyone to have a safe and fun time at the Lake of the Ozarks and return home safe."

In Missouri, children under the age of seven are required to wear a life jacket while boating. It's important for boaters to be familiar with their life jackets and ensure they fit properly. The most common error for youth life jackets is allowing children to wear ones that are too big. If a child's life jacket is too big or not tightened properly, it may not support their head above water. To choose a properly fitting life jacket:

  • Choose a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket that is right for the child's weight.
  • Tighten all straps until snug.
  • Check the fit by lifting up on the shoulders of the life jacket. If it hits the top of the child's ears, it's too big.

There are many styles of life jackets that provide style and comfort for recreational boaters. Self-inflating models which resemble suspenders or even a waist pouch are available for adults.

"In 2019, we've had 19 drowning incidents on Missouri lakes and rivers. Drownings can occur quickly and often involve victims who consider themselves good swimmers. Life jackets save lives," said Captain Matt Walz with the Water Patrol Division. "Don't wait. Start every boating trip by wearing your life jacket."

Ameren Missouri and the Missouri State Highway Patrol encourage all boaters, regardless of age, to wear a life jacket when on the water.

Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company's electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri's mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 132,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company's service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit Ameren.com/Missouri or follow us on Twitter at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.

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For further information: Ameren Missouri, 314.554.2182, MissouriCommunications@Ameren.com; Missouri State Highway Patrol, Sgt. Scott White, 573.751.1000