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Updated: 03/13/2014 02:59:21PM

Hypothermia? Here?

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Bill Hempel

By Bill Hempel

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It’s important for every boater to understand hypothermia. Hypothermia, in its simplest terms, is a lowering of the body core temperature. It’s usually brought on by a combination of cold, wet and windy conditions, and can occur during the winter and summer.

With a normal body temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, our core body temperature needs only to drop to 95 degrees to bring on the onset of hypothermia. You don’t need to be submersed in ice water to experience hypothermia. A combination of damp clothes and wind can drop body temperatures quickly, even in our tropical climate. In fact, statistics show that there are more hypothermia related deaths in the summer months than in winter. The effects of hypothermia can be subtle and creep up on you. Further, the initial effects are a slowed thinking process and a careless attitude, which makes you a danger to yourself and those around you. This can result in causing accidents as well as allowing the hypothermia to progress.

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