High water + cold water = life jackets
Cold water survival safety tips
Always wear a life jacket, even when not required. Many models also offer insulation from cold air.
Never boat alone.
Leave a float plan and know the waters you plan to boat.
Bring a fully-charged cell phone with you in case of emergency.
Wear clothing that still insulates when wet such as fleece, polypropylene or other synthetics.
If you are about to fall into cold water, cover your mouth and nose with your hands. This will reduce the likelihood of inhaling water.
Stay with the boat if possible. Get back into or climb on top of the boat.
Do not remove your clothing in cold water.
If you can’t get out of the water, get into the Heat Escape Lessening Posture (HELP).
Once out of the water, get out of the wet clothes and warmed up as soon as possible.
Source: Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
BUSHKILL — If you're going to be recreating on the Delaware River, you must wear a properly fitted, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket, said Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Superintendent John J. Donahue.
“A lot of people are excited to get back out on the river after the long winter we just had,” said Donahue. “The National Park Service just wants them all to be safe whether they are fishing, boating, kayaking or canoeing. Wearing a life jacket is the one thing that people can do to give them the best chance at surviving a sudden, unexpected fall into the water.”
Even people walking on the shoreline, including anglers, should wear a life jacket. In the spring, the water tends to run high and the slopes leading to the river can be muddy and slippery, making it easy to inadvertently slip into the water.
“Mandatory wear” regulations are in effect in the park anytime the river level at the Montague, N.J., gauge reads 8 feet or higher. The National Park Service closes the river corridor and all access points when the river level reaches 15 feet.
“We keep our eyes on the river levels throughout the year, but this time of year it is especially important as levels fluctuate, the water remains cold, and visitors are starting to use the river more,” said Chief Ranger Eric Lisnik. Current river levels can be monitored at: http://1.usa.gov/1kHPTbO.
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission regulations require life jackets to be worn during cold water season, from Nov. 1 to April 30. More information on commission regulations and the dangers of cold water immersion can be found on their website: http://bit.ly/1iuf5kD.
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