Memorial Day Weekend Cold Water Risk

Lifesaving Resources warns of the risk of cold water….  Cold water is considered any temperature below 70 degrees F.  

The ocean water temperature in Maine is currently 47 degrees F.  Regardless of how warm/hot the outside air temperature is over Memorial Day Weekend, remember: the water temperature is still COLD.  

Anyone venturing out in canoes and/or kayaks should always wear a lifejacket.  

And, the same holds true for anyone operating or as a passenger in a motor boat, especially weak and non-swimmers, children and the elderly.  

And, regardless of the outside temperature, if you intend on jumping overboard into the water, besides the necessity to wear a lifejacket, cover your mouth and nose with your hand in order to prevent TORSO REFLEX or Hyperventilation.  If your airway is unprotected, when the cold water hits your face and chest, you will instinctively gasp and hyperventilate.  And, should you aspirate cold water into your airway, that can cause a reflex spasm of your airway causing you to stop breathing (laryngospasm).  

For more information, please refer to our articles on Prevention of Torso Reflex or on Hyperventilation Induced Blackout.

Infographic on Hypothermia
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