Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Information from the Coast Guard
In recent communication with the coast guard I inquired about getting some "Paddle Safe" stickers to share with folks who buy my book from me at different events.
In addition to graciously giving me some stickers they shared this with me, knowing I would find it interesting.
This was an email sent from the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) who is partnering with the National Weather Service. I have been given permission to share it to help spread the word. Please share it as well, to help spread the word about safety.
Just to let you know, in conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard, the Gray and Caribou National Weather Service offices will begin issuing Beach Hazards Statements late next week under the header of Coastal Hazards Message (CFW, WHUS41 KGYX) for situations when significant numbers of boaters are expected on the coastal waters, along with the combination of relatively warm air temperatures and dangerously cold water temperatures. An example of a message is below. In particular, our focus is on 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.
I should note that although the "Beach Hazards Statement" was designed for our coastal waters, the dangers are similar on inland lakes until the lake waters warm up.
The USCG has found that water temperatures 60 degrees or colder are especially dangerous, which is often the case along the coast of Maine and New Hampshire through at least early summer. Without thermal protection, a victim can quickly become helpless 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 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
We would appreciate your help in alerting the public to this often underestimated danger. Although this program does not start until late next week, the warm temperatures and cold water this weekend will lead to potentially dangerous conditions."
URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
Coastal Hazard Message
National Weather Service Gray ME
708 AM EDT Fri Apr 28 2017
Coastal York-Coastal Cumberland-Sagadahoc-Lincoln-Knox-
Coastal Waldo-Coastal Rockingham-
708 AM EDT Fri Apr 28 2017
...BEACH HAZARDS STATEMENT IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY MORNING
THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING...
The National Weather Service in Gray has issued a Beach Hazards
Statement...which is in effect from Saturday morning through
* Location...The beaches of and coastal waters off Rockingham
County in New Hampshire and York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc,
Lincoln, Knox, and Waldo Counties in Maine.
* Beach Hazard...The warm air temperatures in the upper 60s to
mid 70s may cause people to underestimate the dangers of the
cold water temperatures which are currently only in the low to
* Winds...Light southwest winds early in the day will increase
during the afternoon as a cold front approaches from the west.
Winds will shift to the northwest across western areas late in
the day and become gusty.
* Impacts...The cold water temperatures can quickly cause
hypothermia to anyone immersed in the water. Anyone on boats
or paddlecraft should use extreme caution to avoid this
A Beach Hazards Statement is issued on days when a significant
number of boats and paddlecraft are expected to be out on the
water and when warm air temperatures may cause people to
underestimate the dangers of the cold water. Paddle smart from
the start. Always wear your lifejacket.
Just last year, the United States Coast Guard Sector Northern New
England responded to 80 cold water incidents along the Maine and
New Hampshire shoreline.
According to the USCG, without a lifejacket, a victim suddenly
immersed in cold water may involuntarily inhale while under water
and drown without coming back to the surface. This can only be
prevented by wearing a lifejacket at all times while boating on
the cold water.
Thank you to the Coast Guard for reminding us all to be safe and for all of your efforts!!