Safe boating doesn't mean boring boating -- it means taking precautions that keep summer fun from turning into tragedy.

In 2006, the U.S. Coast Guard reported that there were 17 fatal boating accidents and 175 serious accident on Missouri's waterways. Most of those accidents were caused by carelessness - and many could be avoided with just a little bit of prevention, such as safe drinking practices, wearing life jackets, and taking a safe boating course.

As boating activity in Missouri increases, more boats compete for less space -- and the reckless boaters aren't always the ones who get hurt. All it takes is one person to get out of control, and a lot of people can be harmed -- particularly if everyone isn't prepared.