Fall and Winter Boating

When cooler temperatures begin, most people turn their interest to other activities; however, our lakes and waterways still get usage during this time of year. Even though you will not be swimming this time of year, an accidental plunge in the lake while boating can create a health hazard known as Hypothermia.

Even the most competent boaters may make the mistake of minimizing the danger if the air temperature is warm. However, the biggest danger for boaters is hypothermia. It can strike in any temperature of water if a person is immersed long enough. Depending on the water temperature, it is estimated

that a person wearing just a life jacket could survive from 30 to 90 minutes in 32 degree water to indefinitely in 70 to 80 degree water. Body composition, physical health and applying basic water survival techniques all play a role in determining survival time in the water.

If you’re boating in cold water, your best defense is proper cold water boating apparel that provides floatation as well as hypothermia protection. Don’t be tempted to skip this important aspect of boating safety simply because the air feels warm. If you boat in water less than 50 degrees, hypothermia protection should be a priority.

Spring and Summer Boating

Warmer months area great time to spend a day at the lake with family and friends, but do not forget safety! The lakes and waterways tend to be busier in the Spring and Summer, so be prepared and be safe!

If you have not taken a boating course, it is a great way to refresh yourself with the “rules of the waterway”. Some states now require certification before operating a watercraft. Contact your local department of natural resource office or water patrol office to find out about these great learning opportunities.

Here are a few safety tips to remember:

Check all safety equipment on vessel prior to trip

Always wear a life jacket

Know the rules of the waterway

Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages and operating a watercraft

Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return

Do not overload your vessel

Georgia Power’s Core Safety Beliefs

Safety takes precedence over all other requirements.
Safety is apersonal value.
All hazards can be controlled.
The “Spirit of Safety” is constant.