Scary Close Call: New Hampshire Man Saved After Nearly 30 Minutes in Frigid Cold Lake
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions, or personal experiences.
A New Hampshire man had a frighteningly close call on Monday, April 10, that without rescue could have ended in tragedy.
According to a press release posted on Meredith Fire Department's Facebook page, Parker Russel of Gilford fell in Lake Winnipesaukee after his canoe overturned.
The Fire Department noted that luckily, a couple walking their dog noticed the boat overturn and heard someone yelling. Emergency responders were soon dispatched to help with the rescue and get him out of the water.
But it's scary to think what might have happened if no one was there.
Because Russel was in 37-degree waters for 28 minutes before the rescue team was able to get to him and bring him to shore.
And while yes, 37 degrees is above freezing, the National Center for Cold Water Safety lists anything below 40 degrees as very dangerous and life-threatening. The site states that the water is so cold at that point that it feels like a complete shock and you can lose control of your breathing.
The center notes that at that temperature, the "water is so painfully cold that it often feels like it’s burning your skin."
What's more, according to the Hoffman & Schweitzer Law Firm, "at a water temperature of 32.5 to 40 degrees, death may occur in 30 - 90 minutes."
When you have a chance to look at those numbers considering Russel was in the water for nearly 30 minutes? So lucky for the outcome.
The Fire Department also highlighted that Russel was wearing a life jacket, which is a huge deal. The American Boating Association notes that "a life jacket can provide some thermal protection against the onset of hypothermia, and keep the swimmer afloat until help arrives."
Thankfully, Russel had one on.
The press release noted that Russel was treated for hypothermia and then taken to Laconia Hospital.
Bravo to everyone involved in helping with the water rescue, and hopefully, Russel will be back to full health soon.