As the weather starts to warm up, officials are reminding residents that local waters are still cold.
The Coast Guard and Washington State Parks’ Boating Program are encouraging recreational boaters and paddlers to know the risks of accidental cold-water immersion.
They say that while air temperatures may be rising, temperatures in Washington waterways remain cold and encourage everyone to always wear a life jacket while out on the water.
In a release they state that boating fatality statistics have shown that wearing a life jacket gives boaters the best chance of survival in the event of an accident, especially in cold water.
According to Frank Golden and Michael Tipton, experts in cold-water survival, water below 60 degrees Fahrenheit is immediately life-threatening — and many Washington waterways stay below 60 degrees Fahrenheit year round.
Small vessels such as kayaks, canoes, rafts and open motorboats less than 21-feet long are the most vulnerable to capsizing, but all boaters and paddlers should be prepared and follow these guidelines:
For more information about cold-water immersion, visit https://bit.ly/2Gl9YqN