As boaters in North America are encouraged by warmer sunshine and the passage of Spring, boating groups are getting worried that enthusiasm will bring some unintended consequences.
Hypothermia is a real threat in Spring before the water warms
As a result of the bitter cold and long winter felt across most of the US and Canada, some boating groups are warning boaters to be aware of hypothermia and other cold-water risks since land and air temperatures are rising but the water is not keeping pace.
Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is reminding boaters that the state's waters are still in the 40's - meaning that immersion into the water can cause serious injury or death due to hypothermia. Similar warnings were issued from Windsor, Ontario, Canada to Lake Charles, Louisiana to Columbus, Ohio.
'This is a great time of the year for boating and boaters should not be put off by cold water,' said DEEP Boating Division Director Eleanor Mariani. 'People out on our rivers, lakes and Long Island Sound must realize, however, that cold water creates an extremely hostile environment. At this time of year, it is more important than ever to take proper safety precautions to minimize the chances of going into the water - and to be prepared for immersion if you do.'
A person immersed in cold water has a much better chance of survival if they are wearing a life jacket. The DEEP reminds all boaters that every vessel must have a proper fitting life jacket for every person aboard, and that children under 13 must be wearing a life jacket at all times while underway, unless the child is below deck or in an enclosed cabin.
Watch this video to learn the 1/10/1 rule if you fall into cold water, and be sure - while this is a USA produced video, the advice pertains to anyone in northern climes right now.
To see the more effects of cold water immersion and the benefits of wearing a life jacket, access the Cold Water Boot Camp video at: http://www.coldwaterbootcampusa.org/videos.shtml