Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Sterling, VA

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Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Baltimore MD/Washington DC
236 PM EDT Thu May 3 2018

...EARLY SEASON BOATING SAFETY...

To all boaters: The National Weather Service needs you to know
some information and facts about safe boating before you go out
this year. If you do, it will go a long way in moving us towards
our common goal of keeping our waters free from weather
fatalities.

First, if you are planning on heading out onto the water for some
recreational boating this spring and summer, you should both know
the weather forecast before you leave, as well as check on the
weather while youre out.

Visit our website at www.weather.gov/baltimore to access the
latest marine forecasts, buoy reports, and any statements or
warnings. Another way of accessing the latest forecasts and marine
warnings, if you do not have access to the internet, is over a
VHF marine radio or NOAA weather radio  both of which are
available at most marine stores and should be a part of your safe
boating kit.

Second, you should carry one life jacket for each person on your
boat. Far too often when boating accidents occur and boater are
sent overboard, they are not wearing a life jacket, or do not
have access to one in the water adjacent to them.

Third, pay attention to fast-changing weather factors such as a
rapid increase in cloud cover, a rapid increase in wind direction
or speed, distant claps of thunder, or sudden drop in air
temperatures. All of these factors could mean that there is an
approaching thunderstorm, which often contain gusty winds.

Finally, if threatening weather approaches, or if you receive a
NWS Special Marine Warning for your area, small craft should
immediately head to the nearest shore or safe harbor, exit the
boat, and move to an enclosed building if possible to wait out the
hazard.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to the water being very cold in spring,
hypothermia is a mortal threat to mariners. This serious condition
can occur when boaters are sent into very cold waters due to a
capsized boat that was overturned by a sudden change in weather
conditions. Water temperatures of 70 to 78 degrees are where most
people feel comfortable swimming. In the early spring months, our
water temperatures are typically in the 50s. With temperatures
that cold, capsized boaters can be easily overcome before rescue
or reaching shore. Even in the summer, prolonged immersion in
water temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit can produce
hypothermia. This is why it is so important to be weather informed
before and while you are out on the water.

Please heed all advisories and warnings issued by the National
Weather Service, and enjoy a safe 2018 boating season.

$$



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