MARQUETTE - U.S. Coast Guard officials are reminding boaters to take precautions when heading out on Lake Superior, inland lakes and other waterways.
Joshua Kuhn, an operations petty officer at Coast Guard Station Marquette, said with the warmer weather of recent days, the number of boaters has increased. He said several boaters were observed dressed for the warm air temperatures, rather than the 38- to 40-degree water temperatures, which would be encountered if an accident occurs.
"We urge people to dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature," Kuhn said.
U.S. Coast Guard officials at Station Marquette are warning boaters and ice anglers who venture in mild weather to be perpared for an accidental dip into frigid waters. (Journal file photo)
Coast Guard officials recommend boaters wear life jackets. Inflatable personal floatation devices have to be inflated, which could be difficult in cold water.
Other recommendations include having flares on board, using navigational lights at night, having a radio and a personal locator beacon on board. Another good safety tip is to tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return.
For ice safety, know the ice of Lake Superior is particularly unpredictable and subject to drifting with winds. Coast Guard officials recommend wearing bright clothing when venturing out onto the ice and wear an exposure suit. Hand-held radios can help with communication.
Coast Guard officials recommended not drinking alcohol while on the ice because with alcohol consumption you can't feel the cold as readily, so early signs of hypothermia might go unnoticed.
As with boating, leaving a plan of where you plan to be and when you'll return is helpful for family members and rescue officials.
John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.