Local fire district wants to change dock reguations

Officials in Osage Beach could require more safety inspections

POSTED: 09:40 PM CDT Jun 18, 2013    UPDATED: 07:35 AM CDT Jun 19, 2013 
Osage beach fire prevention meet with public discussing new dock inspection propsal
OSAGE BEACH, Mo. -

Roughly a year ago, two children drowned at the Lake of the Ozarks after being shocked. Shortly after, a woman fell to the same fate.

Despite the tragedies, no city, fire district or county has made any changes to dock regulations in response.

That could change. On Tuesday, the Osage Beach Fire Protection District met with residents to discuss a proposal to change the current rules.

The Osage Beach fire officials want to add additional requirements. Docks would have to be brought up to code if they are renovated, moved or the home is sold. 

"It's a natural progression from regulations that are already in place. It will ensure additional docks inspected at the lake," said Brian Vance with Ameren.

Osage Beach Fire Marshal Ed Nicholason says nearly 80 percent of docks at the lake are not inspected.

Nicholason says he has faith in the current inspection program, and the proposed changes can only make it better.

"We're saying it needs to be done, and we are trying to get more docks into the program," said Nicholason.

Especially with the Fourth of July being two weeks away, which will attract a lot of Missouri families.

"If you feel a tingling, it could be coming from the neighbor's dock if you're in the water. Don't swim away. Tread water away to your nearest exit point," Nicholason said.

Dock owners are encouraged to check their docks regularly to ensure their neighbors are safe if they go for a swim.

The proposal goes to a vote next month.