Warm air ≠ warm water

Chief Petty Officer Jesse Green, a machinery technician with Coast Guard Sector Detroit’s ready for operations team, fills the role of a victim as members of the Kotzebue Fire Department take turns rescuing him from Devil’s Lake near Kotzebue, Alaska. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Grant DeVuyst.

Chief Petty Officer Jesse Green, a machinery technician with Coast Guard Sector Detroit’s ready for operations team, fills the role of a victim as members of the Kotzebue Fire Department take turns rescuing him from Devil’s Lake near Kotzebue, Alaska. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Grant DeVuyst.

Despite a cold start to spring in many areas of the country, the temperatures are finally heating up. With sunny skies, many boaters are looking to get out on water for the first time this year. The warm weather is deceiving, however, as the water in many places is still dangerously cold.

How cold? The National Weather Service reports that the water temperatures in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario are just above freezing, 32 degrees and 38 degrees respectively. In the best of scenarios, a male of average height and weight in freezing or near-freezing water would lose function after an hour if not dressed properly.

“The conditions on the water can be very deceptive with warm air temperature,” said Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Pequignot, chief of incident management at Coast Guard Sector Buffalo. “Remember to always dress for the water temperature and not the air temperature.”

The Great Lakes are just one of many regions where the waters are still at freezing. If you are venturing out on the water, here are a few tips to help keep safe now and in the upcoming boating season:

• Never go out on the water alone. Proper precautions should always be taken before heading out on the water.

• Before making your first trip out onto the water this spring, be sure to ensure seaworthiness of your vessel and inspect it thoroughly.

• Ensure the boat drain plugs are properly installed.

• Inspect the hull for wear and tear that may have occurred over the long winter season.

• Check the readiness of all your survival and safety equipment.

• Get help inspecting your boat. Free boat inspections can be arranged and scheduled with the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Comments

comments

Tags: , , , ,