I was walking around Lake Estes the other day when I saw this man putting his kayak in the water. It was the middle of June and the air temperature was about 70 degrees. The water temperature, however, was in the 40s. It comes straight from the melting snow in the mountains.
He had on shorts and a t-shirt and a PFD strapped on the bow of his boat. If a gust of wind came by and he went over, he didn’t have a chance. Hypothermia would set in within less than 2 minutes. There’s no way he could get to shore and there were no other boats on the lake.
Remember your boating Safety Rule: Dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature. He should have had a dry suit on, or at least a full wet suit. It’s better to sweat a little than to die.
And ALWAYS wear your PFD…if he went over, there was no way he would be able to get his PFD off his boat, put it on and zip it up. You should ALWAYS wear your PFD…you never know what might happen out on the water.
I went sailing with a friend of mine many years ago…we were both very good sailors. A gust of wind came by and the boom flew across the boat, hitting him in the head and knocking him out of the boat and into the water. He did not have a PFD on. Luckily he was still conscious and I was able to get him. The only thing he lost was his prescription sunglasses. Ever since that day, I have never gotten into a boat (and I am an experienced boater) without my PFD. It’s not worth the alternative…
I just thought with summer coming and the water still being so cold, a few safety rules might help. Enjoy your time on the water, but please be safe.