Hardly seems like winter with all the warm weather we’ve had recently. It’s been perfect for driving with the windows down or on a motorcycle. It’s not warm enough, however, to fall into the cold water when you’re boating. That’s why the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Bureau released these safety precautions for boating in winter.
Many Georgians like to cruise the lakes and rivers and go fishing or waterfowl hunting during the colder months of the year. These activities can be fun anytime, but there are some additional safety precautions that should be taken when the weather turns cold.
“The fun can turn to tragedy very quickly if someone ends up in the water during the winter,” says Col. Eddie Henderson, director of DNR’s Law Enforcement Division. “It doesn’t take long for the effects of the cold water to render someone helpless and in extreme danger.”
Typically, body heat is lost 25 times faster in cold water than in cold air so the onset of hypothermia is also much quicker once the body is submerged. Hypothermia is determined by a number of factors including the temperature of the water, physical conditioning, clothing and the body mass of the individual. But, science aside, there are a few practical facts and tips to prevent a winter weather water emergency and some to help someone survive if they find themselves in very cold water.