KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Water is one of the premier destinations for Memorial Day weekend and with
that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District’s 18 lakes see a huge spike in
visitation. Before heading out on or near the water this holiday weekend, we encourage visitors to
expect the unexpected and think about these four safety tips this Memorial Day weekend.
• Life jackets save lives.
o Nearly 90% of people who drown at Corps lakes are not wearing life jackets.
o 85% of all boating-related fatalities were not wearing a life jacket.
o Life jackets help conserve energy and provide floatation.
• Expect the unexpected.
o Conditions can change quickly in open water.
o Most people who drown never intended to be in the water.
o Plan for the known and the unknown.
• Know your ability.
o Swimming in open water is more difficult than in a swimming pool.
o Make sure the size of your vessel is appropriate for the body of water and current or future
o Double check your boat capacity and don’t overload your vessel.
• Make sure your boat is prepared.
o Check to make sure all of the state required safety items are on board and recheck that they
o Ensure there are enough life jackets for everyone onboard and make sure that they function and
fit each person.
o Check your engine, ventilation, backfire flame arrestor, electrical systems and trailer before
you go. Take advantage of free vessel safety checks offered in your area by boating-related
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the nation’s largest provider of water-based outdoor recreation
with 90 percent of these recreation areas within 50 miles of metropolitan areas, the Corps provides
a diverse range of outdoor activities close to home and to people of all ages. We value the safety
of our visitors and want each and every individual to have a safe and enjoyable experience this
holiday weekend. For more information on water safety visit pleasewearit.com .
Release no. 18-036