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NYS Parks Urge Boaters To Be Mindful Of Cold Water

Kristine Bellino, WIBX.

Albany, NY (WIBX) – Although air temperatures are higher than average, New York’s state parks are urging boaters to be careful of the cold water.

Rose Harvey, with the New York State Office of Parks, says although air temperatures may seem nice, “water temperatures are still extremely cold and will remain relatively so throughout the spring months.”

The warning stems from cold water immersion. When a person falls into cold water, there is “an uncontrollable gasp reflex, causing hyperventilation.” This may lead to unconsciousness and swimming failure.

The New York State Office of Parks and Recreation suggests boaters wear life jackets to prevent drowning due to swimming problems. They also suggest all boaters take a safety course, carry a cell phone in a watertight bag and refrain from drinking while on the water.

Last year, nearly one third of the state’s 25 boating deaths came from small manual watercraft and occurred early or late in the season when water temperatures were cold. The group said in nearly every accident, life jackets were not worn.

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