Coast Guard responds to capsized kayak in Irondequoit Bay

9th Coast Guard District NewsCLEVELAND — Personnel from Coast Guard Station Rochester, N.Y., responded to a report of two people in the water after a person on shore witnessed a kayak flip over in Irondequiot Bay near Lake Ontario, Wednesday afternoon.

The two individuals, both men, were wearing life jackets and made it safely to shore. Their names are not being released.

Emergency medical services transported the two men to a nearby hospital, where they were treated for hypothermia. According to the National Weather Service, the temperature in Lake Ontario is 42 degrees Fahrenheit. Without the proper survival equipment, at that temperature a person can become exhausted or lose consciousness in as little as 30 minutes in the water.

“We applaud these paddlers for being prepared and having their life jackets on,” said Cmdr. John Imahori, deputy commander of Coast Guard Sector Buffalo, N.Y. “Cold water kills even when the air is warm. Thankfully, they were close enough to to shore to be able to walk back in. If they were further out the outcome could have been quite different. The Coast Guard wants everyone to wear the life jackets and stay safe while having fun on the water.”

Cold water is defined as any water temperature less than 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The fact that air temperatures might be far above freezing is irrelevant. This is especially important when you consider capsizing is the leading cause of recreational boating accidents.

Paddlers are generally more exposed to the elements than boaters on power and sail craft. Paddlers need to equip their boats with required and recommended safety gear, such as a hand-held VHF-FM radio, and wear the proper personal protective clothing, including dry or wet suits.

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