Caution urged for spring boating conditions

Caution urged for spring boating conditions

Officials from Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation are urging all boaters and paddlers to wear life jackets.

Air temperatures are forecasted to be in the 70s and 80s across the state later this week, however, water temperatures in rivers, reservoirs and lakes remain ice cold.

In the last two months three people have died in Idaho from falling out of a boat into cold water.

“One of the challenges in Idaho is that higher air temperatures in the spring can cause a false sense of security for boaters,” says David Dahms, state boating law administrator.

When it is 80 degrees and sunny outside it is hard to imagine the potential dangers of cold water when you are boating, fishing or paddling. However, water temperatures in rivers and reservoirs may only be in the 40s or 50s due to runoff from melting snow and ice in the mountains, which could lead to a life-threatening situation if a person accidentally falls overboard.

According to Idaho State Parks, when a person falls into cold water the shock of the cold water causes you to gasp for air. Officials say it literally takes your breath away and the ability to hold your breath is almost impossible.

Without a life jacket to keep you afloat a person that accidentally falls into cold water may drown within minutes.

For more information on the dangers of cold water click here.