The Coast Guard stresses that it is essential for anyone engaged in water activities this time of year, to be cognizant of the risk of falling overboard or capsizing and the importance of being properly prepared for survival if the need occurs.
“The best protection would be a full dry suit with life jacket,” recommended Al Johnson,the recreational boating specialist for the First Coast Guard District in Boston. “This would be followed by a wet suit under protective clothing with a life jacket and, finally and at the minimum, protective clothing and a life jacket.”
Additionally, Johnson recommends boaters carry a hand-held VHF radio, a cell phone in a water-tight bag, a head lamp, a strobe light, a wool hat, neoprene gloves, signal flares and a signal mirror.
“The waters are cold and getting colder,” said Johnson, “For the average person, the debilitating shock of sudden immersion can be fatal. The important thing is simply to be prepared and to be properly attired for survival.”