In the throes of summer, New York City has a tendency to heat up pretty quickly – with weeklong spells that find temperatures hovering near 100 degrees. Boaters must still be mindful of cooler water temperatures, where prolonged exposure to 70-degree water can lead to a loss of muscle function or worse. Experts from ONE°15 Brooklyn Marina, the city’s newest recreational marina set on 8 acres between Piers 4 and 5 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, offer tips on how to approach summer boating, beat the heat and manage cold waters.
- Be Aware of Differing Temps on Land & Water
New York’s location in the Northeast, home to equally cold winters, makes its climate quite temperamental. In fact, the weather is so volatile that temperatures can shift from frigid single digits in winter, to 90-plus degrees just a couple months later. Due to these factors, water temperatures in the region do not typically rise as quickly as land temperatures.
This makes warm surface temperatures deceptive to those on waterways. Despite the sting of the heat, boaters may be venturing out onto chilly waters. It is here where boaters can become severely disoriented and helpless if they fall overboard.
According to ONE°15 Brooklyn Marina’s Director of Sailing, Stephen Yip, boaters may pay certain sailing considerations little mind. Yip says come spring, boaters see improving weather and a fleet of sleek boats and immediately want to get involved.
Yip reminds boaters that even though the land warms up over the summer, the water takes longer to reach a more palatable comfort level.
ONE°15 Brooklyn Marina’s Director of Capital Projects, Shea Thorvaldsen, says the following scenario is actually quite conceivable: In the case of a boating accident where someone fails to exit 70-degree water in 20-30 minutes, they will quickly become fatigued and unable to pull themselves from the water. Even experienced swimmers can fall victim, Thorvaldsen notes.
It is precisely this reason why Yip and the ONE°15 team wear and require Personal Flotation Devices (PFD), which could allow fallen boaters to stay afloat long enough to get to shore or be rescued. Yip says boaters “quickly get used to” any bulkiness of the PFD.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, of 4,291 boating accidents with 658 accident-related deaths in 2017, 76 percent of the victims drowned. Of those, 84.5 percent were not wearing a life jacket.
- Understanding Heat Stroke: Early Signs & What to Do
The flip side of on-the-water concerns is heat stroke, as the grueling sun can quickly catch up to boaters, swimmers and anyone outside on a hot day. For this to happen, the body temperature typically hits around 104 degrees.
Thorvaldsen recently told Accuweather that the heat exhaustion/stroke process may begin when those exposed to the sun fail to stay hydrated. As their bodies heat up, they sweat to keep pace with the temperature surge. Suddenly, the body temperature rises and victims take on a reddish hue and begin to feel the effects.
Further, those not used to sailing may find themselves completing an unfamiliar physical task, perhaps while sporting heavier clothing than one might expect given the weather. Clothing that’s not “breathable” may quickly begin to trap heat, preventing the body from managing the grueling conditions. When the body fails to sweat enough, heat exhaustion or even stroke could be the dangerous next event.
Signs of heat stroke include pale skin, clammy hands and/or a general daze. Other symptoms include cramping, red skin, headache and dizziness.
Thorvaldsen called heat stroke one of the “quicker items” that can take hold on the water. The CDC notes that very high body temperatures can damage the brain or other vital organs or can progress to multiple organ system failure and death.
- Be Informed: What You Need to Know
In fact, according to Health Day, more than 600 people die every year in the U.S. from preventable heat-related illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 65,000 Americans visit an emergency room for acute heat illness each summer.
Those experiencing similar symptoms are urged to find a safe, cool environment and seek immediate medical attention.
ONE°15 Brooklyn Marina urges boaters, water enthusiasts and visitors alike to know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and to know current water conditions before journeying out. Both novice and expert boaters are encouraged to research thoroughly and take courses to stay apprised of the latest health information.
ONE°15 Brooklyn Marina, now open at full capacity, is set on a vibrant esplanade in Brooklyn Bridge Park, with 105 slips accommodating vessels from 16 – 200-plus feet in length. As the first new marina in New York City in decades, the operation is helping the city rediscover its waterfront roots.
Those interested in renting space at ONE°15 Brooklyn Marina or learning more about the operation – now housing two waterfront dining options – are encouraged to visit http://one15brooklynmarina.com/.