Despite the warmest day of the year heading our way Friday, the U.S. Coast Guard is reminding Long Islanders that water temperatures will remain cold and potentially dangerous.
Every year, Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound responds to cold water accidents, some of which result in death, according to a statement issued by the Coast Guard.
Water temperatures in the Long Island Sound are expected to be in the mid-40s throughout the weekend, said Matt Scalora, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Upton, despite air temperatures reaching the mid-60s along the coast Friday.
“A one-day period of warmer temperatures isn’t really going to affect sea temperatures,” he said. “That transition happens over a period of weeks.”
According to the Coast Guard, hypothermia begins when the body’s core temperature is below 95 degrees, and body temperature falls more quickly in cold water than in air.
“Sudden immersion in cold water can result in hypothermia and death,” said Capt. Joseph Vojvodich, commander of Long Island Sound sector. “It is imperative that boaters take the time to learn about boating safety, wear life jackets, file float plans and be aware of the environmental risks.”
The Coast Guard also warned that even strong swimmers can succumb to the cold.
“Long Island Sound is a wonderful natural resource and supports numerous waterborne activities, but the environment changes rapidly,” Vojvodich said in the statement. “You shouldn’t be on the water unless you are prepared to be in the water.”
Photo: A paddleboat was found unmanned and adrift in the waters of Long Island Sound in 2010.