Cold Barren River Lake can pose a threat of hypothermia to fishermen, boaters

   With warm weather in the forecast (50 degrees on Sunday and warmer on Monday), fishermen, and some boaters, will head to Barren River and Barren River Lake for the first time this year.
   However, the cold water temperatures can pose a threat to fishermen and boaters, if they find themselves in the lake, rather than on it.
   Hypothermia is a physical condition that occurs when the body’s core temperature falls below a normal 98.6° F to 95° F or cooler. Body heat can be lost 25 times faster in cold water than in cold air. Even a mild case of hypothermia diminishes a victim’s physical and mental abilities, thus increasing the risk of accidents.
   To prevent yourself from being one of the 500+ people who die from hypothermia each year, the University of Minnesota suggests these tips to maximize your chances of survival: 
– Wear a personal flotation device (PFD)
– Adopt a survival position
– Keep clothing on
– Get as much of your body out of the water as possible
– Remain still and in place unless a floating object, another person, or the shore is nearby
– Keep a positive mental outlook (a will to survive really does matter)
   Swimming isn’t recommended unless there is little chance of being rescued and shore is less than a mile away. Putting on a PFD after falling into cold water is almost impossible – so wear it. If you find yourself in cold water without a PFD and nothing to climb onto, tread water. Traditional drown-proofing by repeatedly lowering your head into the water and floating speeds up heat loss.
   For more information on how to prevent hypothermia, log on to Hypothermia Prevention .

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