Be mindful of cold water temperatures if you’re planning on getting on the water

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. -  With colder temperatures comes some pretty cold water in our lakes and rivers, and the Guntersville Rescue Squad wants people getting out on the water to know what to expect and how to prepare for it.

The water in Lake Guntersville is pretty chilly right now, but people aren't deterred from getting out on it. “With the water temperatures dropping we’re just trying to remind everybody if you are having to be around water or you are out on the water  in your boat. Please wear your life jacket," Guntersville Rescue Squad member C.J. Jones says, “With the temperatures dropping, you fall in, you don’t have the time that you think you do.”

Jones says that cold water will take a hold of you quickly if you fall in. “Your muscles are going to seize up, you’re not going to be able to swim, it’s going to take your breath away and then you’re going to end up sinking, and if you don’t have somebody in the boat to help you you’re going to be in a bad position quickly,” Jones explained.

Jones advises you to take precautions. “We’re just telling everybody make sure you have appropriate clothing, have a dry bag with some extra clothing in case you do fall in, always try to go out with somebody else, and the most important thing that we’ve always stressed, wear your life jackets. They can save your life.”

Jones said they usually respond to calls during the winter months involving someone who got into this type of situation and needed help. “Sometimes it’s duck hunters who have run into some bad luck and need some assistance. We’ve had a case with juveniles who have gotten out there and didn’t realize what they’re getting into either duck hunting or just out on the water exactly how cold it is,” Jones said.

Jones advises anyone planning on heading out on the water while these temperatures are cold to keep in mind a bad situation can happen, and prepare for it.