Don’t be fooled by warmer weather, the water is still cold

As air temperatures around the country get warmer more and more recreational boaters are taking to the water. The Coast Guard Auxiliary cautions boaters not to be fooled by the warmer air temperatures, the water is still cold.

“Even though the weather is warmer, the water is still extremely cold,” said Anthony Turner, a spokesperson for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. “With water temps still very cold hypothermia occurs very quickly.”

Hypothermia occurs when the body’s core temperature falls below its normal level of 98.6°F to 95°F or cooler.

Hypothermia is dangerous because it affects the body’s core – the brain, heart, lungs, and other vital organs. Even a mild case of hypothermia affects your physical and mental abilities, and increases the risk of accidents. Severe hypothermia causes loss of consciousness and may result in death. Cold water is especially dangerous because loss of body heat occurs 25 times faster in cold water than in cold air.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary strongly urges the public to wear life jackets anytime while out on the water and to check weather conditions before heading out. Having proper survival gear while underway and filing a float plan (www.floatplancentral.org) with a friends or family member is strongly recommended.

Now is also a good time to take advantage of a free Vessel Safety Check offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary or the Power Squadron. For more information visit www.safetyseal.net.

For more information about safe boating, please visit: http://www.uscgboating.org/

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed volunteer component of the United States Coast Guard created by an Act of Congress in 1939. The Auxiliary, America’s Volunteer Guardians, supports the Coast Guard in nearly all of the service’s missions.

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