Corps cautions against hazards of winter recreation on the water

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Kansas City District is urging caution for those recreating on or near water during cold weather. No matter the season, water safety is a year-round concern.

“We urge you to consider your safety and that of others when recreating at a lake or river this winter,” said Col. Douglas Guttormsen, commander of the Kansas City District. “Weather conditions in the heartland are unpredictable and directly affect the condition of ice on the water. Don’t risk it.”

Before heading outdoors, make a plan, pack accordingly and know the risks. Dress appropriately for the water temperature not the air temperature, because you could find yourself capsized, or thrown from a boat. Life jackets save lives and should be worn at all times by anyone in a boat, including those waterfowl hunting or fishing.

Do you know what might happen if you were exposed to cold water? You could find yourself unable to swim in a short amount of time as your arms and legs go numb and you lose the ability to rescue yourself. Many suspected drowning victims actually die from cold water immersion instead of hypothermia. Hypothermia is still something everyone should be aware of.  It is a condition in which the body loses heat faster than it can produce it.

For additional information on water safety or cold water immersion, see www.pleasewearit.com.

Information thanks to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Kansas City District.

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