BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — Lake Erie: 51 Degrees
Lake Ontario: 55 Degrees

Water temperatures in the 50s may not sound that cold, but this water can immediately be life threatening. The air temperature will be in the 70s this weekend, and the water will be smooth for boaters, so expect a lot of people out on boats.

The warmer air temperature does not mean warmer waters. Plunging into cold water of any temperature becomes dangerous if you aren’t prepared for what the sudden exposure can do to your body and brain.

Body heat can be lost 4 times faster in cold water than in cold air.

Wearing a life jacket significantly increases chances of survival.

Cold shock can be just as severe and dangerous from water temperatures of 50-60F as it is from water at 35F.

When your body hits cold water, “cold shock” can cause dramatic changes in breathing, heart rate and blood pressure. The sudden gasp and rapid breathing alone creates a greater risk of drowning even for confident swimmers in calm waters.

If you were to fall in the water try to stay calm. You need to get out as quickly as possible. If you can swim to safety, stay calm and do so. If you cannot swim to safety, conserve energy and heat and await rescue.

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