The King County Sheriff’s Office Marine Rescue Dive Unit wants to remind residents that, during the spring, while the air may be getting warmer, Washington’s waterways remain cold.
Boaters and paddlers should always wear life jackets as a safety necessity.
While people are encouraged to always wear a life jacket no matter the water temperature or season, public safety officials stress that wearing a life jacket – not just having it on the boat – significantly increases the chances of surviving a fall into cold water.
Despite recent warmer weather, water temperatures statewide are still below 60 degrees – cold enough to cause the gasp reflex and incapacitate even strong swimmers in less than one minute.
Before the first launch of the season, boaters and paddlers are also reminded to review boating regulations and get educated, inspect their watercraft and gear, verify vessels are properly equipped and always wear a life jacket while out on the water.