hot weather

With Heat Comes Safety: What to Consider Before Heading Out

Before making any beach or boating plans, it's imperative to know how to keep yourself and others safe. 

To beat this early summer heat, the water is a common place to go for relief.

But before making any beach or boating plans, it's imperative to know how to keep yourself and others safe. The Coast Guard emphasizes prioritizing your safety this summer.

“The biggest concern is you don’t have an extra set of eyes to look out for you so definitely keep in mind water temperature, rip tides, they can suck you out. Worst comes to worst, if you get sucked out, we have something to look for," said Petty Officer Soto, of the United States Coast Guard of New London.

Swimmers also don't have the extra set of eyes from lifeguards. Until Memorial Day Weekend, it's swim at your own risk at many state beaches. One Connecticut family, who enjoyed Sunday's hot temperatures at Sand View Beach, said the state's lifeguard shortage is a major concern.

"I've been coming to this beach for over six years now, I love the place. It's nice, it's beautiful, but the lack of lifeguards concerns me now that I've started to bring my grandkids," said Luis Colons, of Chicopee, Massachusetts.

Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection urges people to practice caution. The heat is unusual this time of year and water temperatures haven't warmed up yet. Water below 68 degrees is considered very cold. DEEP also suggests cooling off in designated swimming areas only. 

"I think you can never be too careful," said Jill Hotaowski, of Old Lyme. 

A swimming incident on Saturday afternoon in Lyme claimed the life of a 16-year-old boy. It happened off the beach of Nehantic State Forest on Uncas Pond.

A 16-year-old male has died after a swimming accident in Lyme, according to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).

DEEP says the teen was pulled under the water. Rescue crews responded to the area a little after 4:30 p.m. They found the boy, administered CPR, and took him to the hospital, but his injuries were life-threatening and he later died.

For one woman, the story hits home. 

"I had a brother who was 13 and he died in a boating accident on Roger's Lake." 

Those who kayak, canoe, or paddleboard are required by state law to wear a life jacket until May 31. It's also highly suggested to file a float plan or let someone know where you're going and when you'll be back.

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