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Fun Yet Deadly? Lake of the Ozarks Tops Best Recreational and Deadliest Lakes Lists

Last Monday I received an email from Dr. Michael Janssen regarding a couple of lists that were announced this year regarding one of his favorite hobbies—boating. Janssen, the renowned spinal surgeon behind the Center for Spine and Orthopedics in Thornton, Colo., also is an avid scuba diver and snowmobile rider—just don’t ask the world champion offshore racer to pick a favorite pastime.

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Is Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks really the Best Recreational Lake and the Deadliest Lake in the U.S.? Photo by Jay Nichols/Naples Image

Either way, Janssen pointed out how ironic it was that the lake where he owns a home and spends many a summer weekends—Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks—was No. 1 on two lists that couldn’t be more different, at least when you compare the category. First, the popular Central Missouri lake was voted Best Recreational Lake in the country by readers of USA TODAY and its Travel Media Group website 10Best.com. The lake also garnered recognition as the nation’s No. 1 deadliest lake according to a story on InsiderMonkey.com.

How can that be? My guess is that there’s some math involved that is way over this journalist’s head. Something like number of registered boats multiplied by marinas plus operating hours divided by waterfront bars minus no wake zones. Oh yeah, and extra points are added or subtracted depending on water cleanliness levels. Nah, like most lists, these are backed with facts and stats and formed from an educated public opinion.

Read more: Fun Yet Deadly?