As the summer season ends, the ODNR is encouraging Vermilion boaters to continue to explore Ohio’s many lakes, rivers, and streams as a unique way to observe the changing fall colors. However, to reduce late season boating accidents, boaters are also advised to be aware of the dangers associated with cold water.

A properly prepared boater will always wear a life jacket and layers of clothing to account for cold temperatures. As air and water temperatures drop, the chance of hypothermia increases if you end up in the water. The colder the water, the greater the risk to the unprepared person.

Should an immersion occur, try to get out of the water as quickly as possible. Do not try to remove clothing or shoes. Air trapped between layers of clothing will help keep you afloat and act as protection from direct exposure to cold water.

Remember, always wear a life jacket and dress for the weather. Even as cooler nights lead to dropping water temperatures across the state, a properly prepared boater can still enjoy time on the water.