Tips For Those Intent on Boating During Cold Weather

Posted on January 9, 2013

This being the winter, the last thing on many people’s minds is doing some boating.  But in Southern California and other environs, the threat of frigidly cold waters is somewhat abated, and thus many people are willing to load up their boats and head out onto the water all year round.  If you intend on doing any boating in the near future, then make sure you’re willing to make safety a part of your preparation with these tips from the Grand River Dam Authority Police Department in Oklahoma.

You first have to equip yourself with the requisite gear to ensure safety.  Because not as many people are going to take to lakes and the like in the winter, you’re not going to be able to flag for help as easily as you might during the summer.  Thus, always keep a cellphone on your person.  Should an emergency take place, this is always going to be the easiest way to seek assistance.  You also should be wearing a life jacket just in case you fall into the water, and that life jacket should come with a whistle so that anyone in the vicinity can be alerted to your predicament.  This saves the energy you would otherwise expend by shouting and gesticulating wildly.

The rest of your clothing should similarly encourage safety.  Specialized winter gear is available at most sporting goods store.  Look out for clothing that has flotation capabilities and is designed to hold in warmth and ward off water.  And although it might seem counterintuitive, the last thing you want to do is put on multiple layers of clothing, especially if they’re not designed to take on water.  Water can become trapped between the thick layers, weighing you down and draining your body of the energy you need to get yourself out of the water and into a safe place.

You should also know what to do should you ever fall into the water while it’s cold outside.  First, do not panic.  Take stock of your situation and get out of the water as soon as possible.  If your boat turned over, try to climb atop it.  If that’s not possible, latch onto debris or get to shore if you’re able to do so.  When you’re out of the water, take off your wet clothes.  When the weather is particularly chilly, sopping wet clothes will make you colder than if you weren’t wearing anything at all, and thus to stave off hypothermia, get out of soaked clothes at once.

Finally, make sure that someone you can trust knows where you are and what activities you’re engaging in.  Tell such persons where you’re headed, how long you plan to be there, and who’s headed out with you.  That way, should something go wrong, that contact can go into action and potentially save your life.

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