As warmer weather approaches, Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) reminds boaters of the dangers of cold water in springtime.
As part of their "Cold Water Safety Campaign," the DEEP will be raising awareness of the dangers of cold-water immersion through the upcoming months on their social media, special events and out in the field.
In early spring, air temperatures can reach up to 60 degrees in March. However, water temperatures can still be below 40 degrees.
Boaters should always be cautious when operating in these conditions and should carry proper safety equipment.
According to the DEEP, Connecticut has suffered six paddler deaths in the past six years during the cold-water boating season, which lasts from March 1 through May 31.
In order to ensure good boating practices, the DEEP leaves these preventable measures:
- Always wear a life jacket. Connecticut law requires any boat users in canoes, kayaks, rowboats and stand-up paddle boards to wear life jackets between October 1 and May 31.
- Do not paddle alone. Should you fall overboard, it is easier to get back into a boat or reach shore with a partner.
- Dress appropriately. Though it may seem warm out, you should always dress for the water temperature that you're in.
- Always let someone know if you will be out boating and when you expect to return.
- Always be on the lookout when boating for obstacles or debris in the water such as damaged docks, rocks or floating driftwood.