Coast Guard Issues Cold Water Warning

BOSTON – The Coast Guard continues to warn spring boaters, paddlers, sailors and fishermen on the inland and coastal waters of the Northeast’s First Coast Guard District about the danger of cold water and sudden cold water immersion.

“To date this year, we’ve lost 14 boaters and paddlers on the waters of the Northeast,” reported Al Johnson, recreational boating specialist for the Northeast’s First Coast Guard District. “Regrettably, the demise of all can be directly attributed to the debilitating effects of cold water. Be prepared for sudden cold water immersion.”

Although life jackets offer minimal protection against the debilitating effects of cold water, they will keep your body afloat while it briefly acclimates to the water temperature. During this brief period of time, while extremities are still functioning, self or assisted rescue efforts can be initiated, flares deployed, or a distress call issued.

“Wearing a properly-fitted, comfortable life jacket is your first step to survival. Let someone know your itinerary, carry a VHF radio and cell phone, and develop an awareness of the dangers of cold water, said Johnson.”

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