Coast Guard Warns About Cold Water Despite Warmer Air Temps - NBC Connecticut

Coast Guard Warns About Cold Water Despite Warmer Air Temps

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Water Still Cold Despite Warm Days

    The water temperature in Long Island Sound is in the mid-thirties.

    (Published Monday, Feb. 20, 2017)

    While the spring-like temperatures may have warmed the air over the weekend, it takes a lot more than two days in the 60s to get the water to climb out of the 30s.

    "When water's this cold, survivability goes down," said Nicole Picklo, an Operations Specialist for the Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound. "So you need to pay attention to hypothermia, frost bite, things of that nature."

    With water temperatures between 32 and 40 degrees, it only takes 15-30 minutes to hit exhaustion or unconsciousness, and you only have a 30 to 90 minute window of expected survival.

    "You lose mobility you don't have the dexterity that you normally would, so it's harder to do the simple little things because your muscles are all tightened up trying to keep that core temperature in as long as you can," Picklo said.

    If you do want to get out on the colder water, experts warn you need to dress properly.

    "Wet suits, even if it's just more jackets, sweater shirts, things of that nature to keep your body temperature warmer," Picklo said.

    The Coast Guard always encourages everyone to have a float plan before heading out on any kind of boat. Go out in a group, have a method of communication, and let someone on land know your plan. Lastly, they say to always have a life vest.