The warmer weather may have arrived, but the water is still very cold.
Coast Guard Station Montauk will participate in a cold water safety event on the Long Wharf in Sag Harbor on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.
Members of the Coast Guard Station and Coast Guard Auxiliary will provide important cold water and cold weather boating safety information including a presentation about Cold Water Boot Camp.
“Viewers may think they would never go boating when the water is 45 degrees, but this happens all too often,” said Maria Bouboulis, the flotilla commander of Coast Guard Auxiliary Division 18. “Once March and April roll around with the occasional 60 degree days, people head onto the water. They may not know that the water temperature is still dangerously cold and hypothermia can set in quickly. An unexpected bump or a wave can easily capsize a canoe or kayak, throwing the person into the water.”
The public can board and tour Station Montauk’s 47-foot motor lifeboat and check out cold water protection equipment, as well as learn more about life jackets during the presentation.
The Coast Guard is reminding all boaters that it is New York State law that everyone aboard pleasure vessels less than 21 feet in length, such as rowboats, canoes and kayaks, must wear life jackets from Nov. 1 to May 1.
“Wearing a life jacket gives you that added peace of mind—it can keep you afloat until help arrives," Bouboulis said.