The Air is Warm but Cold Water Temperatures Can Be Deadly
Warm temperatures on Sunday will bring out boaters to the ocean, lakes, and streams, but cold water temperatures could turn things deadly in a few moments.
First responders in Hampstead also asked residents to make sure their watercraft is secure after a false alarm on Saturday morning.
Sunday will be the sunniest and warmest day of the next couple days, with temperatures in the upper 60s away from the immediate coast, where a sea breeze will keep temperatures in the upper 50s.
Water temperatures are still in the 40s, meaning a person who falls in the water can quickly become incapacitated. The National Weather Service says being immersed in water below 50 degrees causes cold shock and an immediate loss of breathing control.
"This dramatically increases the risk of sudden drowning even if the water is calm and you know how to swim. The danger is even greater if the water is rough. Immersion in cold water is immediately life-threatening for anyone not wearing thermal protection, like a wetsuit or drysuit, and not wearing a life jacket," according to the NWS.
There are several things that can happen quickly to a boater not properly prepared for the cold water.
- Deep, involuntary gasping for air and loss of breathing control causes swallowing of water which can lead to immediate drowning.
- A sudden increase in heart rate and blood pressure can cause heart failure and stroke
- Mental confusion and fear.
Cold water advice from the Coast Guard includes:
- Review safety gear prior to departure by ensuring lifejackets, navigation equipment, radio, and fire extinguishers are functioning and know how to use them in an emergency.
- Dress appropriately by wearing a lifejacket, drysuit, or wetsuit.
- File a float plan by telling a responsible person ashore where you are going, for how long and where/when you plan to return.
Sunny skies will continue on Monday, but a series of low pressure systems will bring clouds and scattered showers to the Seacoast as the week progresses.
Secure Your Boats
Hampstead Fire-Rescue asked for people to properly secure their boats in response to a report of an overturned canoe in the middle of Wash Pond on Saturday morning.
"Initially, the department has no way of knowing if someone was in the canoe or not. Therefore, we respond based on the worst-case scenario that someone was in the canoe and fell in," the department wrote on their Facebook page.
It was determined the canoe got loose and was blown into the middle of the pond. It was taken to the town beach and out of the wind.