TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - With warm weather on the horizon you might be itching to hit the water, but that may not be the wisest choice.
The Coast Guard is urging extreme caution to those thinking about getting out on Lake Erie or the Maumee River.
They say doing so could put you in danger, and you need to be prepared.
With warmer weather comes outdoor activities. From basketball to bikes, and for some, getting out on the water, but the Coast Guard is urging you to
"Remain vigilant," explained Andrew Lavallee, boatswain mate second class at the Coast Guard Station Toledo. "Look at the weather reports, make sure you have the proper gear, make sure your boat or your kayak or whatever it may be is in good working order and take precautions when you are going out. Just because the air temperature is warm doesn't mean the water temperature is the same."
In fact, Lake Erie was just 34 degrees on Friday. That's cold enough that in just 15 to 30 minutes your body could shut down or lose consciousness.
"Your body core temperature will d rop 25 times faster in the water rather than just cold air," said Lavallee. "Really having your safety gear on, having a life jacket on are some of the precautions you can take to really keep yourself in a safe situation."
If you do head out on the water, officials suggest you dress for the water temperature not the air, bring the proper equipment, and use the buddy system in addition to creating a plan and letting others on shore know of that plan.
Still, Coast Guard officials say they're ready for any emergency.
"We train every single day so we're always ready for any call that might come our way," said Lavallee. "We will be prepared for any of those circumstances that might come up."
The Coast Guard wants to remind you to use common sense on the water because you are not only putting yourself at risk, but also first responders.