Lifesaving Society Manitoba has launched the Cold Water Kills campaign to educate the public on how quickly cold water can have fatal consequences.
“Warm weather allows us to extend cottage and boating season well into the fall, sometimes even up to Halloween,” says Dr. Christopher Love, water smart coordinator for Lifesaving Society Manitoba.
“It is important to realize, however, that we are seeing increasing variability of fall weather, with cooler nights resulting in cold water in lakes, rivers and streams across Canada, despite the warmer days.”
Love says “cold shock” is a real concern. Anyone who falls into the water can drown in seconds unless they’re prepared by wearing appropriate clothing and an approved lifejacket or personal flotation device.
S/Sgt. Bob Chabot, RCMP Inland Water Transport Coordinator, says fall is a beautiful time of year to enjoy boating, but make you’re prepared.
“It’s even more important to ensure your boat is in good working condition and very important to have all your safety equipment aboard,” Chabot says. “Pack extra clothing and survival gear. Create a float plan and let someone responsible know where you are going and when to expect you back.”
Lifesaving Society Manitoba recommends you check the forecast before heading out on your boat, communicate a float plan with someone on shore, carry small tools and parts to fix minor problems to prevent being stranded and be wary of reduced water levels.