cold water safety

Authorities Urge Boating Safety Following Three Recent Deaths in Conn.

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It has been a deadly and dangerous time on the water in the state in the past few days.

Three people have died and there were two rescue operations on Sunday.

An all-out search began after reports of an overturned kayak on the Connecticut River near Old Saybrook on Sunday.

“Conditions are not favorable. The current is really strong today, especially with the north wind coming down the river,” said Captain Keith Williams, of the Department of Energy and Environmental Police State Environmental Conservation Police.

Local and state authorities, as well as the Coast Guard, looked for any sign of the man.

“Luckily he was able to make it to shore and find a house that was open and some people helped him out, getting his clothes changed out with drier clothes and whatnot,” said Williams.

Earlier on Sunday, there was another rescue in Long Island Sound near Stamford.

Four men were pulled from the water and sadly, two later died.

On Friday, DEEP said a child passed away after being in a boat that capsized with four people on board in Wyassup Lake in North Stonington.

Authorities said this is a potentially dangerous and deceptive time of the year. As nice as it might be on land, it’s a much different story on the water.

“You are looking at temperatures in the 40s. That’s very cold water temperature. The body can’t withstand being in that type of temperature for that long of a time,” said Williams.

Williams said the two boaters who passed away in Stamford were in the water for over half an hour and are believed to have died from hypothermia.

He said the kayaker in Old Saybrook was wearing a dry suit, a life jacket and suffered some mild hypothermia.

Besides the water temperature, there are also potentially strong currents and winds to deal with.

Since bad things can happen at any time, Williams said in addition to dressing properly one thing is key if you’re going to boat now.

“Number one thing that is most important is, have that life jacket on. It can definitely save you a lot of time and save your life,” said Williams.

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