“Where is the Cold?” Unseasonal Weather for Seasonal Boaters

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officers Dan Brooks (left) and Michael Mulrooney participate in cold water survival training in the Boston Harbor, Boston, Mass. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Luke Pinneo, U.S. Coast Guard.

One of the primary missions of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is boating safety education and awareness.  Auxiliary boating courses are beneficial to anyone, even if you do not own a boat.  Like most New Englanders, you may be experiencing some unseasonably warm weather for this time of year, which can be creating some sense of false security in how we prepare for outdoor activities.  It is important to remember, that even though air temperatures maybe above average for this time of year, they do not greatly affect such things as water temperature or wind.  Knowing that conditions outside can change rapidly and being prepared for these changes, you can fully enjoy what the environment has to offer.

Article by Auxiliarist Christopher Monteiro

As the boating season comes to a close in many parts of the country, it is expected that some boat owners will extend their season due to the warmer forecasts.  There are many factors that exacerbate the process, but if we just anticipate that we will encounter some adverse weather, it will lead to a much more enjoyable experience.  It is extremely important to be aware of the environment in which you live and play, and to plan for the poor conditions when you do decide to leave the house, beach, or dock.

Taking a few simple precautions can and will save your life.  If you are heading out for a day of boating, paddling or otherwise, wear layers of clothing, including fleece or wool and a hat!  You can lose a vast amount of body heat by way of an uncovered head.  Always wear a life jacket, regardless of your ability as a swimmer.  “Swimmers” who have become immersed in cold water from a kayak or boat, have drowned within 50 yards of shore.  Always tell someone where you are going and when you will return, boaters call this a “Float Plan”. Explore taking a boating safety class, it is required by some states!  Learn all you possibly can, have a plan, carry it out safely and you will enjoy these lazy, hazy day’s of……December?

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