Boaters and kayakers take note, just because the weather is warm doesn’t mean the water is, too. Connecticut’s Coast Guard says it’s the exact opposite.
WTNH reports that despite the fact that today’s temperatures will hit the mid 60’s, Connecticut’s waters are still 40 degrees. At most. So this warm spell didn’t affect them at all.
Which means, if you fall in, you could quickly develop hypothermia. It takes only seconds for cold water shock to set in, which creates panic and may result in drowning.
The Coast Guard warns that if you fall into those waters without a life jacket, you have only three to five minutes before the situation turns deadly.
So, if you fall overboard without a life jacket, stay with the boat and use it to keep yourself afloat. The faster you leave the water, the better.
Mid-Atlantic waters will remain extremely cold well throughout the spring. So, the Coast Guard fully recommends that those who brave the waters to pack accordingly. Meaning, if you go on a boat, bring winter supplies.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Mary Doyle explained what all boaters should bring:
“Wearing regular clothes like jeans or a sweatshirt under a life jacket provides little protection against the cold water. While the air temperature can be warm, hypothermia can take place within minutes of entering the water. For boaters and kayakers to be safe in the winter, they need to be wearing a life jacket, waterproof cold weather gear and have reliable communications onboard to call help.”
It’s also recommended that boaters test their communication equipment before shipping off. In addition, boaters should provide a float plan in case of an accident. Having one handy allows first responders to locate them faster.