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Troopers urge water safety after finding drowned 17-year-old

RALLS COUNTY – Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers said they found the body of the teen who drowned in Mark Twain Lake Saturday.

“Around 1:00 this afternoon, the body was recovered in a little cove,” MSHP dive team coordinator Lt. Mike Petlansky said.

Officials suspended Friday night’s search for 17-year-old Kamerion Rice due to darkness but picked it back up Saturday morning.

“What we did is just start out from the bank from witness accounts of last known locations and did a rope search,” Lt. Petlansky said.,

Bonnie Reigel and her family were staying at the Ray Behrens campground on Mark Twain Lake when authorities were called to investigate the drowning .

“All of a sudden we heard all these sirens going,” Riegel said. “We were concerned right away someone was in trouble or someone got hurt or something.”

Lt. Petlansky said Rice wasn’t wearing a life jacket, something everyone should do when they’re out on the lake.

“Always wear a life jacket, and always have a buddy system when you do decide to swim– please wear a life jacket,” Lt. Petlansky said.

For people who visit the lake often like Riegel, it’s a sad reminder of the dangers the lake could pose.

“You never know when something can happen, and it’s such a tragedy, it just doesn’t have to happen,” Riegel said.

Lt. Petlansky said the investigation into Rice’s drowning is on-going, but it isn’t a criminal investigation at this time.

According to the CDC, potentially half of all boating deaths might be prevented with the use of life jackets. For more information on drowning prevention, you can go here.

Related Story:

Teen drowns in Mark Twain Lake

Frank Healy

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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