Young boating enthusiasts "caught" wearing life jackets at the Lake of the Ozarks will soon be rewarded with T-shirts under an ongoing safety program backed by Ameren Missouri and the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP).
Ameren Missouri provides troopers with several hundred T-shirts bearing the message "I got caught wearing my life jacket" through the safety program, designed as part of the company's participation in National Safe Boating Week, which is May 16-22, and tied to the beginning of the summer boating season. The troopers will hand out the T-shirts starting Memorial Day weekend as a reward to children wearing life jackets while in a boat or on a dock at the Lake.
"Safety is our main concern, and our partnership with the Missouri State Highway Patrol provides a tremendous opportunity to emphasize the importance of staying safe by wearing life jackets on Missouri's lakes and waterways," said Jeff Green, Ameren Missouri supervisor of shoreline management.
Ameren Missouri and the MSHP's Water Patrol Division launched the program in 2005 to promote the importance of wearing life jackets. The majority of boaters who have drowned were not wearing life jackets, according to U.S. Coast Guard statistics.
"The T-shirt program is a great way to promote the wearing of life jackets on boats by children. We like to see children wearing life jackets on docks also, so we encourage our officers to recognize those kids as well," said Captain Mike Turner, commanding officer of the MHSP's Troop F. "The bottom line is life jackets save lives—whether the child is on a boat or a dock."
In all, Ameren Missouri and the MSHP have given away nearly 6,000 T-shirts to children wearing life jackets since the program began.
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 127,000 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 please visit AmerenMissouri.com or follow Ameren Missouri on Facebook or Twitter.