Cold Water Safety Tips for Boaters

Are you a boater who regularly takes your vessel out in cold water? Maybe you run a winter fishing charter or a commercial trawler in Alaska, for example. Whatever gets you out on the water, it’s very important that you follow these cold water safety tips. Should disaster strike, this advice could likely save lives. We believe it’s important to share these tips as part of National Safe Boating Week, which kicks off on May 16, 2020.

The National Weather Service Says…

…That cold water boating has its risks. As a boater, you know that the chances of something bad happening are always present. Accidents can happen and the risks of death and serious injury skyrocket when you’re out in cold water. Remember: Even if it feels warm outdoors, the water you’re on could be cold. The most serious risks occur if someone ends up in the water for whatever reason. Consider these facts from the National Weather Service:

  • Body heat can be lost 25 times faster in cold water than in cold air.
  • Roughly 20 percent of people who fall into cold water die within the first minute due to cold water shock.
  • Strong swimmers will lose muscle control after about 10 minutes in cold water.
  • Cold water is immediately life-threatening for anyone who’s not wearing some type of thermal protection.
  • Wearing a life jacket significantly increases anyone’s chance of survival.

How to Stay Safe While Boating in Cold Water

No boater heads out with the intention of falling in cold water. That said, accidents can and do happen. This is why you must do everything you can to prevent this. If you or others go into the water, your best chance of survival is to stay afloat and keep warm until help arrives. Here are some tips from the National Weather Service to help you do that:

  1. Always wear a life jacket!
  2. Attach a GPS personal locator beacon to your life jacket.
  3. Wear cold water protection gear such as a wet suit, dry suit, etc.
  4. File a float plan that includes details about your trip.
  5. Check the weather before you go out on the water.
  6. If the water temperature is too cold, consider staying off the water if possible.

Seriously, if you go out on cold water even occasionally, please follow these tips. Safe Boating Week might be seven days long, but you must be mindful every time you’re on your vessel. We do too! That’s why helping spread the message of National Safe Boating Week. Look for more boating safety tips coming your way in The Solid Signal Blog.

Speaking of Boating…

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We wouldn’t advise you get DIRECTV unless you feel absolutely sure of the fact that this is perfect for your boat or fleet. Do you have any questions? You’re invited to call our team at 866-726-4182 or fill out the form below.

About the Author

Jake Buckler
Jake Buckler is a cord-cutter, consumer electronics geek, and Celtic folk music fan. Those qualities, and his writing experience, helped him land a copywriting gig at Signal Group, LLC. He also contributes to The Solid Signal Blog.