Warm temps don’t mean warm water
VERMONT- The National Weather Service, US Coast Guard, and various state and local agencies urge extreme caution when boating, canoeing or kayaking in Vermont due to the dangers of cold water and potential hypothermia.
When going to lakes and rivers on a warm day during the spring and early summer, recreationists need to be mindful that water temperatures remain dangerously cold and that the temperature of the water is much slower to respond than the air temperature.
Immersion in cold water can become life threatening very quickly. Should a craft capsize, hypothermia in waters less than 50 degrees can occur in just a matter of minutes. Since water conducts body heat away up to 26 times faster than air of the same temperature, the cold water rapidly causes extremities to become numb, weakens the ability of muscles to work effectively, and eventually leads to hypothermia.
To raise awareness, the NWS, Coast Guard, and various state and local agencies ask boaters to remember these safety tips:
Consider postponing small-craft boating activities until water temperatures become warmer in late spring and summer; those who choose to boat, canoe or kayak in the early season are encouraged to wear a dry suit appropriate for water temperatures in the 30s, 40s and 50s; wear all recommended protective gear to guard against the cold water in the event of an accident or capsize; remember, no matter the season, when on the water, always wear a personal flotation device.
For more information visit www.weather.gov/btv/coldwater_awareness.