Boaters Should Be Aware Of Cold Water DANGERS: OH

Article Posted: March 21, 2007

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Boaters Should Be Aware Of Cold Water DANGERS
Hypothermia Risks Very High In Early Spring

COLUMBUS, OH - Boating on water that is very cold requires special care to avoid hypothermia, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Watercraft.

Many boaters who venture out onto the state's waterways during mild spring weather are not prepared for capsizing or swamping and a sudden immersion into water that may be significantly colder than the air temperature. Most spring boating fatalities are the result of these kinds of incidents, national statistics show.

Wearing a life jacket and protective clothing significantly decreases the risk of hypothermia for boaters who fall into cold water.

The Division of Watercraft offers the following tips for early spring boaters:

Dress for existing water temperatures and not air temperatures when boating.
Wear layers of protective clothing that include neoprene, polypropylene, wool, synthetic fleece and Goretex. Avoid 100 percent cotton and denim garments such as blue jeans, sweatshirts and flannel shirts. The final layer of protective clothing should always be a U.S. Coast Guard life jacket or vest.
Carry a cell phone in a plastic bag in case an emergency should arise.
Understanding the potential hazards and being prepared are the best ways to avoid an emergency on the water. Visit for boating and other water safety tips; or call the Division of Watercraft toll-free at 877-4BOATER for additional information.

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