By Jasmine Huda
(KSDK) - It's the third most dangerous lake in the country, and it's located in Missouri.
More than half of all boating accidents in the state last year, happened at the Lake of the Ozarks.
It's an early start to Memorial Day weekend at the Lake of the Ozarks. The quiet of winter and spring is giving way to the sounds of summer.
Keith and Denise Arens from Iowa aren't wasting any time.
"Where we're from, there's wind and all kinds of weather elements and you don't have that down here," Denise Arens said.
"The lake was calm Wednesday, but there will be anywhere from 5000 to 10,000 boats on the water over Memorial Day weekend. And more boats create the potential for big problems.
In 2006, there were seven deadly boating accidents at the lake. That's what the Missouri State Water Patrol is trying to avoid.
The latest death this year involved a 21 year old who fell overboard. Crews are still searching for the body in the lake that has earned a title nobody wants: The third most dangerous lake in the nation, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
"The more people, the more accidents, the more incidents we're going to have," Water patrol officer Randy Henry said.
It's a harsh reality that forces some boaters to be hands off this weekend.
"It's so busy, we don't take our boat off the lift, in fact we won't stay down on the holidays hardly ever," Tom Ship said.
Law enforcement, on the other hand, will be all hands on deck. With thousands of other avid boaters motoring up, the water patrol says it can't afford to let its guard down.