Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Portland, ME

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000 NOUS41 KGYX 161221 PNSGYX MEZ007>009-012>014-018>028-NHZ001>015-162300- PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT...NATIONAL SAFE BOATING WEEK NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAY ME 823 AM EDT SAT MAY 16 2015 ...PLEASE JOIN THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN OBSERVING NATIONAL SAFE BOATING WEEK...MAY 16TH THROUGH MAY 22ND... AFTER A LONG...EXTREMELY COLD AND SNOWY WINTER SUCH AS THE 2014-2015 SEASON... WARMER WEATHER HAS FINALLY RETURNED TO NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND. HOWEVER...DESPITE LONGER AND MILDER DAYS...BOATERS NEED TO BE AWARE THAT WATER TEMPERATURES REMAIN VERY COLD. THAT`S WHY THE NATIONAL SAFE BOATING COUNCIL WANTS TO REMIND PEOPLE OF THE DANGERS OF COLD WATER BOATING. MANY AREAS REPORTED WATER TEMPERATURES STILL REMAINING ONLY IN THE 40S TO LOWER 50S ALONG THE COAST THIS WEEK. WATER TEMPERATURES IN OUR LARGER LAKES ARE NOT MUCH WARMER WITH READINGS IN THE LOWER TO MID 50S. A COMPLETE LAKES FORECAST PACKAGE FOR SEBAGO AND WINNIPESAUKEE CAN BE FOUND BEGINNING MONDAY AT WWW.ERH.NOAA.GOV/GYX/LAKEFORECASTS/ COLD WATER IS DEFINED AS ANY WATER WITH A TEMPERATURE OF 70 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT OR LOWER. BOATERS SHOULD ALWAYS BE AWARE OF THE DANGERS OF COLD WATER... PARTICULARLY DURING THE EARLY PART OF THE BOATING SEASON WHEN THE WATER IS COLDER AND WHERE THERE ARE NOT MANY OTHER BOATERS AROUND TO HELP. THE FIRST HAZARDS OF COLD WATER ARE PANIC AND SHOCK. THE INITIAL SHOCK CAN SEVERELY STRAIN THE BODY AND MAY CAUSE INSTANT CARDIAC ARREST. SURVIVORS OF COLD WATER ACCIDENTS OFTEN DESCRIBE HAVING THEIR BREATH "KNOCKED OUT" OF THEM UPON THEIR FIRST IMPACT WITH THE WATER. DISORIENTATION MAY ALSO OCCUR AFTER COLD WATER IMMERSION. RECENT ANNUAL BOATING STATISTICS ISSUED BY THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND THE COAST GUARD INDICATE THAT WATER TEMPERATURES RESULTED IN 134 DEATHS WITH WATER TEMPERATURES IN THE 60S. ANOTHER 114 FATALITIES OCCURRED NATIONALLY WITH WATER TEMPERATURES IN THE 50S, WHILE 62 CASES WITH WATER TEMPERATURES IN THE 40S. IN MAINE...THERE WERE A TOTAL OF 44 ACCIDENTS AND 11 FATALITIES AND 26 INJURIES DURING THE YEAR. IN NEW HAMPSHIRE...THERE WERE A TOTAL OF 36 ACCIDENTS RESULTING IN 2 FATALITIES AND 21 INJURIES. SEVERAL OF THESE ACCIDENTS OCCURRED ON WARM...SUNNY DAYS...BUT WITH VERY COLD WATER TEMPERATURES ON THE LAKES...RIVERS AND THE OCEAN DURING THE SPRINGTIME. SO PLEASE ALLOW FOR EXTRA CAUTION IF BOATING EARLY IN THE SEASON. BE ON ALERT FOR GUSTY WINDS OR CHOPPY SEAS THAT CAN EASILY CAPSIZE A SMALL CRAFT. $$ NNNN

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