The Handbook of Missouri Boating Laws and Responsibilities
The Official Boating Handbook of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Water Patrol Division - Web Version
Table of Contents
The Missouri State Highway Patrol has the responsibility of patrolling the major waterways in Missouri.
- 272,770 acres of lakes with 5,500 miles of shoreline
- 519 miles of the Mississippi River
- 533 miles of the Missouri River
- All the tributaries of these waterways
To reduce boating accidents and related fatalities, the Patrol provides boater education programs for children and adults. They are taught by Highway Patrol troopers throughout the year. Missouri requires anyone born after January 1, 1984, to have a boating safety certification approved by the Missouri State Highway Patrol in order to operate a boat or personal watercraft on the lakes of the state. In addition, they also must carry some form of photo identification. Persons who possess a U.S. Coast Guard or Power Squadron boating course certificate may apply for a certificate issued by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
The Patrol provides a variety of services during floods. These services include rescue, evacuation, and security as well as many others. The division works closely with the State Emergency Management Agency and any other agency requesting assistance.
The Patrol monitors rivers and lakes to advise the Department of Natural Resources of any pollutants that might be contaminating state waters.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol Dive Team is fully trained and equipped for rescue and recovery operations. Drownings, boating accident fatality victims, criminal evidence from felony crimes, vehicles, and explosive materials are just some of the reasons for conducting dives. Divers are located throughout the state to ensure a timely response to dive sites.
Assistance to Other Agencies
The Patrol frequently assists local, state, and federal agencies during emergency situations. Highway Patrol troopers, due to their extensive training requirements, have full police authority and can respond to requests for assistance by any sheriff or chief of police.
Other services provided by the Patrol are:
- Providing safety exhibits and inspecting safety equipment in vessels
- Investigating water-related accidents
- Administering first aid
- Investigating complaints and criminal activities, and assisting other law enforcement departments
- Patrolling regattas, races, fishing tournaments, skiing exhibitions, and other water-related events
- Authorizing placement of navigation buoys and investigating navigational obstructions
Contacting the Missouri State Highway Patrol
Contact the Missouri State Highway Patrol for: