JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- With Missouri remaining in the grip of a summer heat wave, state officials are urging the public to stay safe while cooling off on lakes and rivers.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol -- which now includes the Water Patrol -- reports 14 fatalities on the state's waterways from July 1 through Friday. That includes nine drownings in one seven-day stretch alone.
Highway Patrol Superintendent Ron Replogle says many of the cases involved limited ability to swim and failure to wear lifejackets. Replogle says using lifejackets and other safety devices should be a regular part of being on the water.