Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Portland, ME

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NOUS41 KGYX 281412

1012 AM EDT FRI APR 28 2017

In conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Weather
Service offices in Gray and Caribou, Maine, will begin issuing
event-driven Beach Hazards Statements late next week under the
header of Coastal Hazards Message (CFW, WHUS41 KGYX) to
highlight the dangers of cold water temperatures.

Please note that these statements will be issued only for
situations when a significant numbers of boaters are expected
to be out on the coastal waters and the combination of
relatively warm air temperatures and cold water temperatures
make boating in small watercraft especially dangerous. Of
particular concern are small watercraft and paddlecraft that
could easily overturn and immerse people in the cold water. In
addition to the cold water temperatures; frontal passages, wind
shifts, or any situation with increasing or gusty winds are
particularly of concern, as these situations increase the
chances that small watercraft could overturn.

The USCG has found water temperatures 60 degrees or colder to
be especially dangerous, which is often the case in Maine and
New Hampshire through at least early summer.  A victim can
quickly become helpless in cold water due to hypothermia.
Boaters should always be aware of the dangers of cold water,
particularly during the early part of the boating season when
the air is deceptively warm but the water remains cold.
According to the USCG, when the water temperature is below 50
degrees, the average person has 30 minutes or less before they
lose use of their extremities and can survive only an
additional 2 hours provided they are wearing a USCG-approved
life jacket.  Once water temperatures reach 60 degrees, an
average person can survive for 16 hours, provided they are
wearing a life jacket.


National Weather Service
Gray, Maine

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