Coast Guard warns: warm weekend weather, water still deadly cold

National Weather Service LogoBOSTON — With warm, sunny weather being forecasted for the upcoming weekend, the U.S. Coast Guard is reminding mariners that even though the air temperature feels warm, the water temperature is still cold and unforgiving.

The spring can be particularly dangerous as many boaters in their haste to get underway only consider the weather report and overlook water temperatures. A good guideline to follow is to always dress for the water, not the air.

“With water temperatures still in the mid-40s, hypothermia can set in quickly regardless of the air’s warmth,” said Lt. Garrett Meyer, the incident management division chief at Coast Guard Sector Boston. “Taking necessary precautions and preparing beforehand can make a huge difference in how your first trip on the water goes.”

When planning the first trip, mariners should ensure all proper maintenance is completed on their boat, have their registration updated if changes in address or phone number have occurred, have the Coast Guard Auxiliary conduct a safety examination on their lifesaving equipment and consider taking a safe boating class.

Prior to getting underway, mariners are urged to always check the marine forecast and develop a float plan. The plan should be given to someone reliable who can follow your progress and contact the Coast Guard if things do not go as planned.

“Spending time on the water can be an extremely enjoyable experience,” Meyer said, “But remembering to take the time to properly prepare will help ensure it remains enjoyable!”

In the event of an emergency while on the water, the Coast Guard can be reached anytime via VHF channel 16.

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