With the first warm weather of the season people may turn to swimming to cool off. Remember that while the air is warm, the water is still very cold. Another side effect of the cool, wet spring has meant heavier snowpack which translates to colder rivers, lakes and other waterways, which can be deadly if unprepared.
Washington waters are often cold enough to cause cold water shock, even on a hot summer day. Cold water can quickly weaken even the strongest swimmer.
Some tips to keep you safe:
- Always, always wear a life jacket when recreating on the water!
- Take caution when jumping into water; the current can be stronger below the surface. Freezing water can cause involuntary gasping, which can lead to choking & drowning
- Watch for slippery rocks which can hurt your feet or cause you to lose balance
- If you want to swim, choose a safer location – visit a local pool or lifeguarded beach