CLEVELAND — The United States Coast Guard has issued a reminder to Great Lakes enthusiasts of the dangers posed by cold weather as falling temperatures grip the Midwest.
They advise boaters and swimmers to keep the following in mind before venturing out onto the water:
- Survival time is much lower in cold water than warm water, increasing risk of death. Take all necessary precautions.
- Dress for cold water, even if you don’t plan on jumping in. The Coast Guard says accidental falls overboard rank high among the leading causes of boating-related deaths.
- Don’t leave home without a VHF-FM radio or locator beacon. Inform close contacts of your intentions for that day and tell them when you expect to be back.
“Cold water adds an added level of danger to mariners and people who participate in winter water recreation,” says Training Specialist Roger Rice. “Cold water shock can set in almost immediately after entering the water so exercise caution when at or near the water and always go out with a friend.”
Click here to read more on cold-water safety.