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Cold Water at State Parks May Cause Danger for Boaters
SOLON (CBS 2/ FOX 28)—The recent stretch of warm weather has left fisherman like Steve Broad with a one track mind.
“Water and bait,” said Broad who fishes three to four times a week at Lake MacBride.
But officials with the Department of Natural Resources warn--don't let the sunshine fool you.
"The water temperature is still in the 50s, so it's still quite cold," said Ron Puettmann, park manager at Lake Macbride.
Puettmann says those lower temps can make a typical boating accident, twice as dangerous.
"When you're in colder water like this, your body may not react the same way as it would in the warmer water," Puettman said.
And with dozens of boaters and paddlers already pouring into Lake Macbride plus more on the way for Memorial Day, they're urging folks to be extra careful.
Officials say rule number one--always wear a life jacket especially when the water isn't very warm.
They also say dress for the water's temperature, not the air; take an extra bag of dry clothing; and don’t boat alone.
Last year Iowa had nine fatal boating accidents.
That's twice as many as in 2011. The number of alcohol related boating incidents tripled from 2011.