Some intrepid boaters, the crew teams in their shells and a few kayakers have been on the water already and have realized the water is still VERY cold !
So it’s time to review the basics of boating in the early spring:
- As a rule of thumb, It’s about 10 degrees colder on the water than on land. Wear layers of clothing with a wind breaking shell on top and bring along hats and gloves.
- Make a float plan so someone will know you are going out… and call to tell them that you returned safely.
- Check the weather. Use the links included on our home page to see the current weather in Norwalk from the weather station atop the Cove Administration building and the links for current radar.
- Wear a life jacket. Even if you don’t in the Summer.
- Bring a VHF radio and cell phone. There are far fewer boats out there to rescue you than during the season.
- Double check your boat, your gear, your engine, your safety equipment.
- Do a risk assessment – what could go wrong and what you can do now to prevent it.
- Know the signs, symptoms and prevention of Hypothermia. Sudden immersion in cold water can have severe physiological consequences, including cardiac arrest, quick loss of body heat (since the body loses heat 25 times faster in cold water than in cold air) and involuntary inhalation of water (gasping) that results in drowning. To really understand hypothermia see the website: Cold Water Bootcamp for more information.
- Remember, alcohol can make you loose body heat, defeating the body’s natural heat regulation.
- If you are going to kayak or SUP (stand up paddleboard), wear a wetsuit and a life jacket. A life jacket is required in CT from Oct first through May thirty-first on all manually propelled vessels.
By Capt. Rick Delfosse 203-216-7800