Missouri Marine Operations gets ready for Memorial Day weekend

Doesn't a nice, relaxing weekend on the lake sound like a great way to celebrate the holiday weekend?

Thousands of folks from around the Midwest will show up to kick off the summer with a bang.

The Marine Operations Division of the Missouri Highway Patrol expects a number of boaters on the lake for the first time.

"Once you get out on the water, if you're not familiar with that particular area, you need to make sure that you slow down and use caution," said Captain Matt Walz.

People unfamiliar with the lake might not be prepared for the amount of traffic on the water.

"Make sure you keep a safe distance from other boaters.â?? said Walz. â??That gives a little more reaction time in case they do operate their boat unexpectedly and they cut into your path."

Just like driving a car, troopers say defensive driving is key when boating. But unlike the highway, the lake has very few controls.

"One thing people should remember when they're out on the waterways, there's no lanes, there's no speed limit during the daytime, so it makes it that much more important to keep that safe distance from other boaters,â?? said Walz.

If you would like to get to know the lake and surrounding areas a little better in time for the summer, you can download a free map here, courtesy of the Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau.