Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Portland, ME

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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.
$$

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