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Lake Erie boater precaution: cold water could kill - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Lake Erie boater precaution: cold water could kill

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The air is warming up, but the lake temperature is way behind and poses a potential threat to all boaters. The air is warming up, but the lake temperature is way behind and poses a potential threat to all boaters.
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

A warning for boaters this weekend after Lake Erie turns deadly so early this year.

Even though Easter Sunday is promising to be full of sunshine and warm, the lake water is still very cold and could kill in minutes. 

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is anticipating a lot of boaters going out on the water. 70 degree temperatures in the air can feel inviting.

But, also note the water temperature is in the 40s. 

Peter Corogin with the Vermillion Port Authority notes, "It's very choppy."

Corogin was on the lake this morning. He notes that there is still ice on the eastside of the lake and the air temperature on the water is cold. 

The cold air means hypothermia can set in quickly. Body heat can be lost 25 times faster than on land once submersed.

"It's too rough to go fishing," remarks Bill McCarthy, also from the Vermillion Port Authority.

According to Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project there were 19 drownings in Lake Erie in 2013. The only Great Lake with a higher count is Lake Michigan with 23.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Watercraft and Coast Guard officials both advise to not only provide a lifejacket for all passengers onboard, but also cold weather gear; including, a wetsuit, or even better a dry suit. The move to wear them versus just having them onboard is even better protection against the elements.

The other action to take is to always file a float plan. Provide a point of contact on land with a description of everyone onboard, where the boating plan is to, and an estimated time return time. 

Another good plan for this time of year is to stay safe and just enjoy the lake from dry land.

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