In a season with an abnormally large amount of drownings officials are stressing water safety as the last big weekend of summer approaches.
The Army Corps of Engineers is urging boaters to be cautious over the Labor Day holiday weekend.
The corps’ Kansas City District says there have been 14 water-related deaths this year at the 18 lakes it manages in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska.
The agency says none of the 14 people was wearing a life jacket, and alcohol was a contributing factor in nine drownings. Five of the deaths happened around the July 4 and Memorial Day holidays.
Corps officials say boaters should wear life jackets, recognize that swimming in open water is more difficult than in a swimming pool and monitor children when they are near the water.
Overall, in lakes, ponds, rivers, and pools there have been over 20 drownings reported this year in Missouri. In Kansas over a dozen drownings had been reported, double the average.