Northeast Waters Still Cold, Coast Guard Warns

Recreational boating deaths involving paddlecraft more than doubled in Northeast waters during 2016, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Waters in the northeastern region of the United States are still cold this time of year, the U.S. Coast Guard notes in an article by Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Barresi about a recent rescue of a kayak who was suffering severe hypothermia. Recreational boating deaths involving paddlecraft more than doubled in Northeast waters during 2016, according to his article, which explains that Northeast waters "remain cold well into spring. It is tempting to shake off winter by hitting the water on the first warm days of the new season, but the reality is that the water temperature hasn't caught up to the air temperature, and this equates to an often-overlooked danger."

The rescue involved a man whose kayak had capsized. Someone on shore called 911, and both a 47-foot USCG Motor Lifeboat and a New Hampshire Marine Patrol boat responded.

It was a close call for the kayaker.

"Whether you're surfing, kayaking, or paddle boarding, you want to have some kind of protective clothing on, whether it's a wetsuit or dry suit," said Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Perry Derrenbacher, a crewmember at Station Portsmouth Harbor who participated in the rescue. "As soon as you hit the water, all the blood is going to rush from your extremities to your core, and you'll lose your ability to swim."

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