Winter Weather Week: Boating Safety in Winter


INMAN, SC (WSPA) – With over 1,000 miles of combined shoreline around our area lakes, we have plenty of opportunities for fun on the water. For many, it doesn’t end in the winter months.

While there are safety rules you should follow at all times of the year, there are a few things you should be aware of before heading out on the lake in the winter.

Jon Morgan, Bowen Lake’s chief warden in Inman, has some advice on what boaters should do.

“First, they should always check the weather and dress for the weather. They should dress in layers. The first layer should be moisture wicking to draw moisture away from the skin and help keep the body cool. hot,” he explained.

Don’t forget waterproof gloves and a hat. Most heat loss from a body comes from the head.

Also, you should have a change of dry clothes in case you end up in the water. Lake temperatures can be as hot as 80 degrees in the summer but could be in the 30s in the winter. Dry clothes can help you avoid hypothermia.

In addition to equipment for the elements, there are other safety rules you should keep in mind.

“Most importantly, you should always wear your life jacket the entire time you’re on the water,” Morgan said.

And at any time of the year, there should always be enough life jackets for everyone on the boat.

Cold snaps can bring ice to the water, especially in shallow coves. Stay away from it.

“You have to let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back. In case something happened, they would know where to look for you,” Morgan said.

You should also make sure there is food and water on board. You’ll burn more calories in the colder air and you’ll need to stay hydrated.

Don’t forget the boat! Make sure it has received a winter check, as you should with your car.

Whether fishing or floating, a little preparation can ensure comfort and safety.


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