Tag Archives: Boat Safety

NYS DEC Alerts Boaters to Low Water Levels at Many Boat Launches

NYS DEC Alerts Boaters to Low Water Levels at Many Boat Launches

NYS DEC Alerts Boaters to Low Water Levels at Many Boat LaunchesDue to the ongoing drought conditions in New York State, many waters are significantly below average water levels for this time of year. While many DEC boat launches are still useable by shallow draft boats, boaters desiring to launch larger, deeper draft waters may have difficulties on many waters. Of particular concern are DEC boat launches on Lake Champlain.

On Lake Champlain, which is a foot below normal water level elevations for this time of year, most launches currently provide 3.0 ft of water depth. Exceptions are the Ticonderoga Launch which is currently below this level at 2 ft.

Boaters, particularly those desiring to launch larger, deeper draft boats, are encouraged to contact the DEC regional office covering the water they desire to launch their boat onto for updated information.


US Coast Guard Cautions Boaters This Spring

The boating season is starting early for 2016 season, thanks to the mild winter. But, the lake temperature is still dangerously cold in the event of a boater going overboard.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.mychamplainvalley.com

Lake Champlain water temperatures arestill in the low 40’s… still very, very, cold. Water temperatures this cold can do a number on the human body. Hypothermia is one of the main concerns from the US Coast Guard. Make sure you have your life jackets with you, and preferably on you Another added step of safety, primarily during the spring season, is wearing a wet or dry suit. This will significantly increase your survival rate in the event of an emergency.

See on Scoop.itLake Champlain Life

Cold Water Boating Hazards

After a long, cold… very cold… North Country winter, we’re all looking forward to warmer weather recreational activities. These first warm days of spring often attract boaters and other recreational enthusiasts to the many beautiful lakes, rivers, and streams across Vermont and northern New York.

Particular caution is necessary early in the boating season across the North Country

This week’s rescue of three kayakers from Lake Champlain illustrates the need for proper precaution. Two of the kayaks capsized dumping the boaters into Lake Champlain. Fortunately they were able to be towed to Valcour Island by the third kayaker, and eventually rescued and treated for hypothermia.

The Hazard of Cold Water BoatingThe National Weather Service (NWS) in Burlington, Vermont urges extreme caution when boating, canoeing, or kayaking during the spring, when water temperatures typically remain dangerously cold in the event of a capsize.

Boaters should be aware of the dangers posed by cold water temperatures. On pleasantly warm and dry days in April and May, it is easy to forget that the water temperature is much responds more slowly to seasonal changes and warms much more slowly than the air temperature.

Rivers are often still affected by melting snow runoff from the mountains. Lakes continue to up-well cold water from below until a temperature of 39°F, and then increase in temperature slowly based on amount and days of sunshine, near surface air temperature, and the size of the body of water. On Lake Champlain, climate records indicate that surface water temperatures are typically in the upper 30s in late April, and only rise into the 40s during May.

Cold Water Immersion

Immersion in cold water can quickly become life threatening. If you capsize in water with temperatures in the upper 30s and 40s, hypothermia can occur in a matter of minutes. Since water conducts body heat away up to 26 times faster than air of the same temperature, the cold water rapidly weakens the extremities – making them numb and weakening the ability of muscles to work effectively.

Protect Yourself From Danger When Cold Water Boating

The NWS urges the following safety measures to protect yourself and maximize your enjoyment of area waterways:

  • Consider postponing small craft boating activities until water temperatures become warmer in late spring and summer.

    Cold Water Boating Hazards

    PFD Wear it !

  • If you do choose to boat, canoe, or kayak in April or May, wear a dry suit appropriate for water temperatures in the high 30s and 40s.
  • Wear all recommended protective gear to guard against the cold water in the event of an accident or capsize.
  • Remember, no matter the season, when you are on the water, always wear your life jacket.

Safe boating is no accident!

Take the time to think safety first and plan appropriately for weather and water conditions before heading out on lakes, rivers, and streams.

Further Hypothermia Information:


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Anglers and boaters reminded of cold water safety

The ice has left, fishing seasons are beginning and boaters are anxious to get on the water.The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department reminds anglers and recreational boaters to be aware of the cold water conditions that are present in the spring.


Anglers and boaters reminded of cold water safety

Anglers and boaters reminded of cold water safety

“The spring season offers some of the best fishing of the year in Vermont, and can also be a very enjoyable time for boaters to get out on the water before the busy summer season begins. That being said, we’d like to remind anglers and boaters to exercise safe practices and be conscious of the cold, high and swift water that exists in various bodies of water across the state.” ~ Col. Jason Batchelder, Vermont Fish & Wildlife warden

Cold Water Safety

Lower water temperatures during the spring season increase the risk of hypothermia if there is an on-the-water accident. Sudden immersion in cold water can cause the loss of swimming ability and strength, gasping and the inhalation of water, and rapid unconsciousness.

“Often the first few warm, sunny days of spring can be misleading as water temperatures remain in the high 30’s and 40’s throughout Vermont. We strongly encourage folks to get out on the water and take advantage of the outdoor opportunities available in Vermont this spring, but just remember to be prepared and make good decisions. That goes for anglers fishing along streams and rivers also, as high water from melting snow can create strong current.”  ~ ~ Col. Jason Batchelder, Vermont Fish & Wildlife 

Wear Your PFD – It’s The Law

Vermont boating laws require that all vessels carry one U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type I, II, III or V PFD for each person on board. Vessels 16 feet in length or longer must also have one U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type IV PFD on board. Also, children under 12 years of age must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved Type I, II or III PFD at all times while any vessel is underway.


Anglers and boaters reminded of cold water safety. PFD Wear it !

PFD… Wear It!

“The use of a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) is paramount at this time of year, given that it can significantly increase the odds of survival in cold-water situations,”  ~ Col. Jason Batchelder


Additionally, New York State boating laws, which apply to waters on the New York side of Lake Champlain, require all persons aboard motorboats, canoes, kayaks, rowboats and sailboats less than 21 feet in length to wear a PFD while on New York waters from November 1 to May 1.

To learn more about boating safety and Vermont’s boating laws, visit http://www.boat-ed.com/vermont/handbook/.

To learn more about fishing in Vermont or to purchase a Vermont fishing license, visit www.vtfishandwildlife.com.

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