Coast Guard wraps up summer boating season, reminds mariners to prepare for cold weather

NEW YORK – Coast Guard Sectors New York and Long Island Sound remind mariners to take extra precautions on the water as the air and water temperatures in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey grow colder each day.

Although summer officially just ended three weeks ago, the Northeast is already experiencing colder weather, which means boaters, paddlers, sailors, and fishermen should carry extra gear to protect them from colder water, inclement weather and changing conditions.

Boaters are urged to follow these safety rules:

  • Leave a float plan with a responsible individual who knows your intentions, location and who they should call if you do not return as scheduled.
  • Wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket and set the example for your passengers or paddling partners.
  • Carry a marine-band radio and GPS on board your vessel.
  • Plan for the worst; dress as though you are going to get wet and be cold.
  • Maintain situational awareness on the water. Be aware of activity around your vessel, including changing weather, and always know your location.
  • Be responsible – Don’t boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“Cold weather increases the risk boaters may face if they find themselves in an emergency situation while on the water and we feel it essential to educate the boating public with the potential for things to go wrong,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Finke, a boatswains mate stationed at Coast Guard Station Jones Beach. “The water is going to get colder and survivability diminishes with a lower water temperature.”

Hypothermia beings to occur when the body’s core temperature falls below 95 degrees, occurs 25 times faster in cold water than in cold air and may eventually lead to death. How quickly a person becomes hypothermic depends on many factors including the environment, whether a person is wearing protective gear or not and physical condition.

For the latest marine forecast, visit NOAA:

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