Ocracoke beachgoers on Christmas day take a quick plunge. Photo by C. Leinbach
Beachgoers on Christmas day take a quick plunge. Photo by C. Leinbach

Press release from the U.S. Coast Guard

With unseasonably warm weather forecast for the holidays, the U.S. Coast Guard reminds boaters, anglers, kayakers and hunters that even though the air temperature feels warm, the water temperature is still cold.

Whether you’re trying to get in one last day on the water or trying out some new toys, don’t let your guard down.

Always wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket while underway and dress appropriately for the water temperature–not for the air temperature. Check the weather conditions and water temperature for your local area.

File a float plan and stick to it. Consider establishing a prearranged communication schedule to provide updates on your whereabouts.

Survival time is greatly diminished for someone immersed in water below 70 degrees.  Cold water reduces a body’s heat up to 25 times faster than cold air. In addition to a life jacket, the Coast Guard recommends wearing a dry suit or other hypothermia protective clothing in a cold water environment to increase the chances of surviving a fall into the water.

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