The Lake Rescue Shootout started in 1988 as an event in which many locals participated to simply establish who had the fastest boat. As the years went by it became a bigger and bigger event that also helped supplement the Lake Area Fire Department’s water rescue efforts like Osage Beach, Sunrise Beach, and Lake Ozark Fire Districts. In 1993 the “Lake Rescue Shootout” began being called the Shooters Shootout or Natoli’s Shooters 21 Benefit Shoot out. ( The chairman of the board in 1993 was Carmelo Natoli. )
It wasn’t until 1996 that Gravois and Mid-County Fire Districts joined Osage Beach, Sunrise Beach, and Lake Ozark Fire Districts. The next year the event officially became known as Lake Fire Rescue Shootout. The number of boats participating continued to grow, on the Sunday in 2000, 80 boats ran making 128 passes through the course.
In 2006 The Lake had a new record set by Dave Callan and John Cosker of 208 mph to then beat it the next year at 209 mph! In 2008 the Shootout had it’s 20th Anniversary bringing a whole new light to the event when it changed its location to Captain Ron’s Bar and Grill. With the new location and renewed excitement, over 60,000 fans watched the races. By the time 2010 rolled around the committee sat out to make the event a week long, so they added the Treasure Hunt, a Mini-Shootout, a meet and greet with the Racers during the Shootout on the Strip, Puttin’ on the Wish Rides, a Firework display, and concerts. They ended up setting a new record by donating $70,000 to 20 different charitable organizations.
2013 was the Shootout’s 25th Anniversary and it was memorable. The Shootout Hall of Fame had 10 new inductees from all aspects of the 25 years of the Shootout. Then Sue Morgan unveiled the new Bob Morgan Memorial/Shootout Hall of Fame at Captain Ron’s, complete with a flyover in the missing man formation as America the Beautiful was sung. New records were set by Joe Sgro as the top V at 152 mph, Dan O’Keefe as the top PWC at 95 mph, and Brad Rowland as the top Pontoon at 114 mph. By Sunday morning, the second run of the day in “My Way”, Bill Tomlinson and Ken Kehoe set a new record of 224 mph. The greatest part of 2013, the Shootout Committee set an unprecedented amount of giving for the shootout by handing out $115,000 in checks to 22 different Charities and Fire Departments.
In 2014 there was a new record set of 244 mph but not without a little bit of tension. The Spirit of Qatar, on it’s first run, about a third of the way down the course, the parachutes deployed but they safely got it to the end of the course setting the 2nd highest speed at 210 mph. Later that day Spirit of Qatar set it’s standing record of 244 mph. In between these runs Joel Begin’s boat, throttled by Mike Fiore, flipped end over end at the finish line. As rescue crews did a tremendous job of securing the scene and getting both men to the hospital, it was reported later in the day and again on Sunday that Joel was able to walk away from the hospital and that Mike would fully recover. On Tuesday after the Shootout, a day after his hip surgery, Mike Fiore passed away and the entire Shootout family mourned his tragic death. Mike Fiore was a major contributor to the Shootout and he will always be remembered.
The next two years the event continued to grow, in 2016 the Shootout Committee donated $195,243 to 34 different organizations, fire departments, and charities. In the 9 years the event has been at Captain Ron’s $943,000 has been donated back to charity. This is a fantastic event that does amazing things for our community. So be sure to get out this year and participate in it. Take a look at the schedule below to see what activities you’d enjoy, there is something for everyone!