DETROIT (WWJ) – Michigan boaters may think that sweltering temperatures in the 90s mean warmer lakes and rivers, but that’s not always the case.

Petty Officer Christopher Yaw with the U.S. Coast Guard says the temperature of the water is not always the same as the air, and that can be a problem if you fall overboard.

“A lot of times we’ll see people go out and they’ll be in just a pair of shorts in their kayak — or, you know, a tee-shirt and shorts — and they’ll capsize and they won’t be able to get back in their boat,” Yaw said.

“They might be out in the middle of the lake, and it can really lead them into some trouble, so that’s why we really want to stress that, yes, it’s warmer, but you know make sure you dress for the water temperature and not just the air.”

Yaw told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Jon Hewett that even with water temps in the 60s or low 70s, you run the risk of hypothermia if you’re in there too long.

“The water is going to rob your body of temperature and of heat a lot quicker than equivalent air temperature would,” Yaw said.

Water temps in the Detroit area on Friday were in the 70s. For those headed Up North the risk is even greater as Yaw warns the water in lakes Michigan, Huron and Superior remain only in the high 30s to low 50s.



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