Photo: Don Butt
The ice is gone. The days are getting longer if not much warmer.
It’s time to get out on the water – or at the very least, prepare to get
out on the water.
Nancy Thompson, AP
Please do remember that even though the days may be
warm the water is still very cold. Minor boating incidents in warmer weather could quickly turn to tragedy at
this time of year. So be sensible, not silly.
Dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature. Even the differences in temperature from cruising
down a sheltered river to being in the open lake are significant. One of the major causes of boating fatalities is
cold water shock, the rapid reduction of body temperature, which occurs when boaters fall into cold water. The
following is taken from the Safe Boating Guide:
Surviving in Cold Water.
Cold water shock likely causes more deaths than
hypothermia. Canada’s cold waters are especially danger-
ous when you fall into them unexpectedly. For three to
five minutes, you will gasp for air. You could also experi-
ence muscle spasms or a rise in your heart rate and
blood pressure. Worse yet, you could choke on water or
suffer a heart attack or a stroke. Even strong swimmers
can suffer the effects of cold water shock.